Common Cottongrass - Eriophorum angustifolium

    Alt Name
    Common Cotton-sedge

    20 to 60 cm tall, the stem is round above but bluntly three angled below and bearing channelled dark shiny green leaves, 3 to 6 mm wide that taper to a long, three angled point.. It is the fruits that make Common Cottongrass so visible, they are dark brown and have white cotton-like hairs resembling cotton wool.

    Identification difficulty

    Open, wet, peaty ground, both calcareous and acidic, sometimes colonising peat-cuttings and often growing in standing water. Its habitats range from upland blanket bogs and hillside flushes to wet heaths and marshy meadows in the lowlands.

    When to see it

    The flowers appear from late April to June and are followed by the fruits in June and July.

    Life History

    A rhizomatous perennial.

    UK Status

    Widespread in Scotland, Wales and East Anglia. More local elsewhere in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Uncommon and local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 8 of the 617 tetrads.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map