This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Eriophorum alpinum L. Sp. PI. 53- 1753-
E. hudsonianum Michx. Fl. Br. Am. 1: 34. 1803.
Perennial by short rootstocks, sending up numerous filiform triangular roughish culms, 6'-10' high. Leaves subulate, 3"-10" long, triangular, channeled, borne very near the base of the culm, the lower sheaths often scarious and bladeless; spikelet solitary, terminal, small, erect; involucral bract subulate, mostly shorter than the spikelet, sometimes wanting; young spikelet ovoid-oblong, subacute; scales oblong-lanceolate, yellowish-brown, firm, obtuse or subacute, the midvein slender; bristles 6, white, crisped, 4-7 times as long as the scale; achene narrowly obovoid-oblong, brown, apiculate, dull.
In bogs and on high mountains, Newfoundland to Hudson Bay and British Columbia, south to Connecticut, northern New York and Michigan. Also in Europe and Asia. Summer.
E. Scheuchzeri Hoppe, Taschenb. 1800: 104. 1800. E. capitatum Host, Gram. Aust. 1: 30. pl. 38. 1801.
Stoloniferous; sheaths all blade-bearing or only the upper one bladeless; culms slender, smooth, nearly terete, io'-i6' tall. Leaves filiform, channeled, usually much shorter than the culm; spikelet solitary, terminal, erect; involucre none; scales ovate-lanceolate or the inner ones linear-lanceolate, long-acuminate, purple-brown, membranous, with narrow, pale margins; bristles white, weak, nearly straight, 4-5 times as long as the scales; achene obovoid-oblong, acute, brown, dull, nearly i" long, subulate-beaked.
In bogs, Newfoundland and Labrador to Alberta, Alaska and British Columbia. Also in Europe and Asia. Summer.
E. Chamissonis C. A. Meyer; Ledeb. Fl. Alt. 1: 79. 1829. E. Chamissonis albidum Fernald, Rhodora 7: 84. 1905. Eriophorum russeolum Fries, Novit. Mant. 3: 67. 1842.
Stoloniferous; culms solitary or little tufted, terete or somewhat triangular, erect, smooth, 4-2 1/20 tall, mostly longer than the leaves. Upper sheath inflated, bladeless, mucronate, rarely with a short subulate blade, usually borne below the middle of the culm; leaves filiform, triangular-channeled, mucronate, 1-4' long, or those of sterile shoots much longer; spikelet solitary, erect: involucre none; scales ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, thin, purplish-brown with broad white margins; bristles bright reddish-brown or white. 3-5 times as long as the scale; achene oblong, narrowed at each end, apiculate.
In bogs, Newfoundland to Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario, Montana. Washington and British Columbia. Also in Europe and Asia. June-Aug.