(redirected from Cottongrass)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(cotton grass), a genus of plants of the family Cyperaceae. The plants are perennial herbs with a creeping or shortened rhizome. Those plants having the latter type of rhizome form small tussocks. The stems are three-angled or cylindrical. The basal leaves are long, and the stem leaves are short or reduced in the form of sheaths. The bisexual flowers are borne by many-flowered spikelets, which are solitary or gathered in umbellate clusters. The perianth consists of numerous white or, less commonly, rusty hairs, which greatly elongate and become cottony after flowering. The fruit is three-angled.

There are approximately 20 species of cotton grass, distributed in the cold and temperate belts of the northern hemisphere. One species grows in the southern hemisphere, in the Transvaal. There are 14 species in the USSR, growing mainly in the arctic and forest zones and in the alpine belt of the mountains. The plants usually grow along shores and in swamps, boggy tundra, and forests. Among the most common is the hare’s-tail (E. vaginatum), which often forms broad tussocks in upriver swamps. E. polystachion and the broad-leaved cotton grass (E. latifolium) grow mainly in downriver swamps and peaty lands covered with spring water. All species of cotton grass form peat. Many species, especially hare’s-tail, are valuable early-spring forage for deer and elks. The stalks are eaten by waterfowl.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Along with our other restoration works, planting cottongrass is crucial to prevent the bogs from deteriorating, and will hopefully provide the first step to their recovery".
Mr McCartney added: "I was delighted to kick off my own Volunteering Week by helping the National Trust volunteers plant cottongrass up on the moors above Marsden."
* MOOR WORK: Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney (front right) and other volunteers plant cottongrass to protect Marsden Moor
These are the days you can help: Sunday September 4 10.30am - cottongrass planting, meeting at White Moss.
"They started off sowing seeds collected from moorland plants, including bilberry, heather and cottongrass.
The occurrence of tussock cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum L.), a FACW vascular species, begins at the wetland boundary, and the species increases in abundance farther into the wetland, where it is mostly confined to the tops of wetland hummocks (Figs.
Of these, two were dominated by tussock cottongrass, two by the moss Hylocomium splendens, and one by the lichen Cladonia furcata, which limited the available habitat for test bryophyte species on these hummock tops.
The Mackenzie Delta ecoregion supports stunted stands of black spruce and tamarack, with secondary quantities of white spruce, and a ground cover of dwarf birch, willow, cottongrass, lichen, and moss.
Wet polygonal tundra covers the delta district of the LDNR north of 72 [degrees] 20'N, with sedge (Carex sp.) and cottongrass (Eriophorum sp.) communities being the most abundant.
At the Kuuk area in 1996 (Glahder, 1998), we observed geese feeding most of the time in smaller lakes with abundant common cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium), one of the most important food items for the Greenland white-fronted geese (Madsen and Fox, 1981).
During the fall, the black brant, the angilukviit [larger than the Canada geese], and the snow geese eat iitat [the lower stems of cottongrass, Eriophorum angustifolium].