Plant Guide > Grasses > Cotton Grass > Virginian Cotton Grass

Virginian Cotton Grass

Virginian Cotton GrassEriophorum virginicum

The Virginian Cotton-grass (Eriophorum virginicum), from one to four feet in height, is common from Canada to Florida.

In this larger species the spikelets are more densely clustered than are the spikelets of Slender Cotton-grass, and the hairs composing the perianth are usually rusty brown or tawny in colour.

Certain species of this genus have been used in interesting experiments in which thread has been spun and firm cloth made from the silky hairs of the spikelets, but the fibre is short, and the attempt to bring the hairs into use as a substitute for cotton was soon abandoned.

Where Cotton-grasses grow in abundance on the moorlands of Scotland the poorer people formerly found a use for the down in making candle and lamp wicks.