Carex sect. Spirostachyae is a section of the genus Carex, containing 38 species of sedge. Species in Carex sect. Spirostachyae share a suite of features, including the short internodes of the primary rhizomes, the presence of an antiligule, the leaf-like, sheathing bract at the base of the inflorescence, the presence of three stigmas in female flowers, and the shape of the seeds.
The section is composed of two subsections, with differing edaphic preferences; subsection Elatae comprises species that lives on acidic soils, while those in subsection Spirostachyae live on basic or ultramafic soils. The two sections also differ morphologically, with species in subsection Elatae having wider leaves, thicker stems and larger spikes, the lowest of which may hang downwards.
The centre of diversity of the group is in Europe and adjacent parts of Africa and Asia; a few species occur in Australia, Africa, South America and on oceanic islands. The three species present in North America are introductions.