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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

6. Eriophorum L. -- Cottonsedge

1. Eriophorum chamissonis C. A. Mey. -- Chamisso cottonsedge


Culms solitary or in groups of few, terete, finely ridged, 2-6 dm tall, 1-2 mm thick. Leaves few, the uppermost arising from near the middle of the culm and often bladeless; blades of the lower leaves subterete to slightly trigonous, sometimes channeled, 1-2 mm wide. Spikelet solitary and terminal, appearing like a hemispheric or subglobose cotton tuft a few cm in diameter; involucral bracts not foliaceous, resembling enlarged, sterile basal scales, these blackish with pale margins, obovate to triangular-ovate, the largest 1-2 cm long; floriferous scales blackish-green, the tip and margins pale, obscured in the spikelet by the bristles; perianth bristles white to rufous. Achenes dark brown, distinctly beaked, 2-2.7 mm long, ca. 1/3 as wide. Jun--Jul. Bogs; rare, with records from Bottineau and Rolette Counties, ND; (Circumboreal, in N.Amer. s to N.B., MN, nw WY and OR).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Eleocharis xyridiformis Fern. & Brackett -- Spikerush
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Eriophorum gracile Koch -- Slender cottonsedge

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