Herbs, perennial. Rhizomes creeping. Culms tufted or nearly scattered, obtusely 3-angled, clothed at base with bladeless leaf sheaths. Leaves basal and cauline; leaf blade of basal leaves slender, elongate, flat or 3-angled; cauline leaves usually reduced to a sheath. Involucral bracts spathelike or glumelike, rarely leaflike. Inflorescence a terminal simple or compound anthela or reduced to a single spikelet. Spikelets with few to many spirally arranged deciduous glumes. Glumes each subtending a bisexual flower. Perianth bristles 10-30, white or brownish red, elongating extremely after anthesis, smooth, silky. Stamens 3. Style base not distinct, not or slightly thickened; stigmas 3. Nutlet obovoid to oblong, 3-sided, smooth, apex beaked.
Herbs, perennial, cespitose or not, rhizomatous. Culms solitary or not, trigonous or terete. Leaves basal and cauline; cauline leaves sometimes bladeless sheaths; ligules present; blades filiform to flat with filiform tip, to 25 cm × 2.5–4 mm. Inflorescences terminal, spikelets solitary, erect or (1–)2–10(–30) in subcapitate or subumbellate panicle; involucral bracts 1–several, scalelike or blade-bearing and leaflike throughout. Spikelets: scales (10–)20–200, spirally arranged, each subtending flower, or proximal empty. Flowers bisexual; perianth persistent, of (8–)10–25 hairlike, smooth bristles, or very rarely 6 antrorsely barbed bristles, greatly elongate, essentially straight, usually obscuring most of scales in spikelet, much longer than achene; stamens 1–3; styles deciduous, linear, 3-fid. Achenes trigonous.
"Scales spirally arranged, scarious, not awned; fls perfect, each in the axil of a scale; perianth of numerous (more than 10) persistent bristles, these much elongate at maturity, so that the mature spikelet forms a dense, cottony tuft commonly 2–4 cm; stamens 1–3; style trifid, deciduous; achene unequally trigonous, often with a short, slender stylar apiculus; perennial herbs of wet places, with grass-like lvs, the upper sheaths often bladeless; spikelets many-fld, solitary and terminal or few–many in an umbelliform cyme or head-like cluster; foliaceous bracts present in spp. with more than 1 spikelet. 20, N. Hemisphere."
Faegri, K. 1958. Zur Hybridbildung in der Gattung Eriophorum. Veröff. Geobot. Inst. E. T. H. Stiftung Rubel Zürich 33: 50–58. Fernald, M. L. 1905. The North American species of Eriophorum. Rhodora 7: 81–92, 129–136. Palla, E. 1896. Zur Systematik der Gattung Eriophorum. Bot. Zeitung, 2. Abt. 54: 141–158.
|Cotton-grass, bog-cotton, linaigrette [Greek erion, wool or cotton, and phoros, bearing]|