USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

6. Eriophorum L. -- Cottonsedge

2. Eriophorum gracile Koch -- Slender cottonsedge


Culms solitary from rhizomes, slender, weak, subterete, 2-6 dm tall, 1-2 mm thick. Leaves few to several, the basal often withered by flowering time, the uppermost arising above or below the middle, with a reduced blade shorter than the sheath; blades channeled on the upper surface, 1-2 mm wide. Spikelets 2-5, obovoid to obconic, 1.5-2 cm long with the expanded bristles; pedicels spreading to nodding, to 3 cm long; involucral bracts several but only 1 foliaceous and erect, shorter than the inflorescence; scales pale to blackish-brown, ovate, bluntly acute-tipped; perianth bristles white. Achenes pale tan to light brown, narrowly obovate, 2.5-3.5 mm long, 1/3 to 1/4 as wide. Jun--Jul. Fens and boggy meadows; rare and possibly extirpated in our region, e SD and nc NE; (Circumboreal, s in N.Amer. to PA, IN, IA, NE, CO, ID and CA).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Eriophorum chamissonis C. A. Mey. -- Chamisso cottonsedge
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Eriophorum polystachion L. -- Narrowleaf cottonsedge

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/vascplnt/species/egra.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:42:22 EST
Menlo Park, CA [caww54]