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Eriophorum angustifolium

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
er-ee-OH-for-um an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-um
Description

This perennial sedge is not native to the mid-Atlantic region beginning with Pennsylvania south and also not throughout the southern tier of states.  The plant grows in its native areas (northern tier of U.S. and Siberia) in wet areas such as marshlands, boggy areas, and in very shallow waters, including wet ditches. It can also grow in predominantly wet soil adjacent to ponds and rivers.  It prefers an acidic pH soil, likes peat but also grows in sandy or clay soil and in sun to partial shade. 

It can adapt to its less than native conditions if attention is given to its location, water, soil, and nutrient needs.

The plant can be grown in pots or garden water features in about 2 to 3 inches of standing water. This sedge plant is usually about 12 inches tall though it can grow up to 2 to 3 feet in some areas of the country. It reproduces through both seeds and root spread. It has angular, v-shaped leaves and tassels of white, cotton colored flowers on leafy stems. To avoid the plant spreading, the seeds must be removed before maturity when wind spreads them, and the plant roots divided every two years or so.

Cottongrasses are self-pollinating because the flowers are "perfect", meaning each contains both male (stamen) and female (carpel) reproductive) parts. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#partial shade#water garden#rain garden#perennial#container plant#sedge#acidic soil tolerant#grass like#tassles#cotton-like#native sedge#wet soil intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#sun#partial shade#water garden#rain garden#perennial#container plant#sedge#acidic soil tolerant#grass like#tassles#cotton-like#native sedge#wet soil intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eriophorum
    Species:
    angustifolium
    Family:
    Cyperaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Asia, North America
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Perennial
    Water Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Description:
    Seeds are inedible, are brown in color, and less than 1/10th inch long. They are 3-sided if viewed crosswise or downward from the tip end.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Cream/Tan
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Clusters of spikes off the stem, usually oval initially and then are cone shaped or fanlike due to the thin tassels as seeds appear. Each flower has at its base a single scale brownish to purple in color, with a spike tip.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaf stems are triangular, as are all sedge leaves. The leaves are flat and alternately placed on the stem, 2 to 8 mm wide. The leaf is up to 16 inches long. The uppermost leaf is about as long as or longer than its sheath.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Small groups