Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
Eriophorum L. -- Cottonsedge
Solitary or sparsely tufted, grasslike, rhizomatous perennials; culms
rather stout, terete to weakly trigonous, mostly solid. Leaves mostly
basal, sheathing the stems; blades elongate, grasslike, flat or folded
or subterete and sometimes channeled on the upper surface. Involucral bracts
few, foliaceous in spp. having few to several spikelets in the inflorescence,
or resembling enlarged, sterile basal scales in those with a single terminal
spikelet. Inflorescence terminal, containing few to several spikelets
in an umbelliform cyme, or comprised of a solitary spikelet; spikelets
having a cotton tuft appearance at maturity due to the elongate, silky perianth
bristles; scales many, spirally arranged, scarious. Flowers perfect;
perianth of numerous, long, persistent, white to rufous bristles, greatly
surpassing the scales at maturity; stamens 3; styles trifid. Achenes
brown, unequally trigonous, sometimes with a short style beak.
Fernald, M. L. 1905. The North American species of Eriophorum.
Rhodora 7:81-92, 129-136.
||Inflorescence a single terminal spikelet; foliaceous
involucral bracts absent.
||Inflorescence of few to several spikelets; foliaceous
involucral bracts present.
||Involucral bract 1, shorter than the inflorescence.
||Involucral bracts 2 or 3, the longest usually surpassing
||Midvein of the scale fading before reaching the
very thin tip of the scale.
||Midvein of the scale broadening toward the tip of
the scale and reaching the tip.
62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family
6. Eriophorum L. -- Cottonsedge
- 1. Eriophorum chamissonis C. A. Mey.
-- Chamisso cottonsedge
- 2. Eriophorum gracile Koch -- Slender
- 3. Eriophorum polystachion L. -- Narrowleaf
- 4. Eriophorum viridicarinatum (Engelm.)
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
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