Alpine Cotton Grass (Eriophorum Alpinum, L.)

The habitat of this plant is marshes and spongy bogs. The plant has the grass habit. The root-stock, which is creeping, gives rise to a number of stems and leaves. The stems are rigid, rough, slender, 3-angled, and the plant is slender and elegant. The leaves are bristle-like, short, channelled, rough. The spike is solitary, erect, oblong, lance-shaped, with few, oblong, narrow spikelets. The glumes are yellowish-brown. The 4-6 bristles are crumpled. The nut is very small, inversely egg-shaped, 3-angled. The plant is 4-8 in. high, and flowers in June. It is a herbaceous perennial.

Hare's Tail Cotton Grass (Eriophorum Vagi-Natum, L.)

The habitat of this plant is bogs and moors, boggy moors. The habit is as in the last. The rootstock is short. The plant is tufted. The stems are hairless, numerous, triangular above, round in section below, longer in fruit. There are 1-2 leafless sheaths above the middle, the upper one inflated. The leaves are slender, long, bristlelike, channelled, 3-sided. The spike is solitary, oblong, with erect, egg-shaped, many-flowered spikelets. The bristles are numerous, straight, not crisped. The glumes are membranous, transparent, broadly egg-shaped, olive-green. The nut is inversely egg-shaped, blunt, with a short point, flattened. The plant is 6-10 in. high, and flowers from April to June, being a herbaceous perennial.

Broad-Leaved Cotton Grass (Eriophorum Lati-Folium, Hoppe = E. Paniculatum, Druce = E. Pubescens, Sm.)

The habitat of this plant is marshes and bogs. The plant has the grass habit. The rootstock is short. The stems are rigid, tufted, 3-angled above, hollow. The leaves are flat, the lip short, 3-angled, linear, narrowed above the middle into the short triangular point. The spikes are several, with rough or downy flower-stalks, the spikelets in a cyme. The glumes are lance-shaped, with narrow, membranous borders. The bristles are two to three times as long as the spikes. The nuts are pear-shaped,3-sided. The plant is 12-18 in. high, and flowers between May and July, being a herbaceous perennial.

Slender Cotton Grass (Eriophorum Gracile, Roth)

The habitat of this plant is bogs. The habit is as in the above species. The stems are very slender (hence gracile), rather 3-sided, tall. The leaves are very narrow, 3-sided, channelled, short, linear. The bracts are small, 1-2. There are 4 spikes, with downy flower-stalks. The glumes are broad, blunt, with many ribs, brown. There are 3-6 spikelets. The nuts are narrow, oblong to linear, inversely egg-shaped to lance-shaped, 3-sided. The bristles are twice as long as the spike. The plant is 1-2 ft. high, flowering- in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.

Brown Beak Rush (Rhynchospora Fusca, Ait.)

The habitat of this plant is spongy bogs. The plant has the sedge habit. The rootstock is longer than in the next, and the plant is widely creeping. The leaves are slender. The spikelets are in an oval head, much shorter than the outer bracts. The spikelets are brown (hence fusca). There are 3 stamens. The 6 bristles have ascending teeth. There are erect teeth at the base of the style. The anther-stalks are swollen. The fruit is inversely egg-shaped, as long as the triangular, toothed tubercles. The plant is 6-12 in. high. It flowers in June and July, and is a herbaceous perennial.