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Eriophorum virginicum L.
Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Fruit: Dark brown to black
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Eriophorum virginicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Eriophorum virginicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Eriophorum virginicum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-09
Research By: TWC Staff