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Native Plant Database

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Eriophorum virginicum (Tawny cottongrass)
Smith, R.W.

Eriophorum virginicum

Eriophorum virginicum L.

Tawny cottongrass

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: ERVI8

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Spikelets in a dense, head-like, terminal cluster with tufts of tawny, copper-colored, or whitish, silky hairs elongating greatly as seeds mature; stem triangular toward top, round below.

There are numerous species of these mostly northern cotton- grasses (actually sedges), most with white instead of tan bristles. They are especially showy in open northern bogs, which from a distance may appear to be covered with snow. The genus name is from the Greek erion (cotton or wool) and phoros (bearing) and refers to the cottony nature of the fruiting head, as does the common name cottongrass.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Inflorescence: Spikelet
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit: Dark brown to black
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Manitoba east to Newfoundland, south to Georgia, and northwest to Tennessee, Iowa, and Minnesota.
Native Habitat: Bogs and wet meadows.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Eriophorum virginicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Eriophorum virginicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Eriophorum virginicum

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2012-11-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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