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Eriophorum vaginatum

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Eriophorum vaginatum, the hare's-tail cottongrass,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref> tussock cottongrass, or sheathed cottonsedge, is a species of perennial herbaceous flowering plant in the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is native to bogs and other acidic wetlands throughout the Holarctic Kingdom. It is a 30–60 cm high tussock-forming plant with erect solitary spikelets.


The head of Eriophorum vaginatum

Eriophorum vaginatum is a 30– to 60-cm-high tussock-forming plant. The inflorescence is a dense, tufted cyme with erect solitary, multiflowered spikelets.<ref name="Howard"/> It is rhizomatous, with leaves usually longer than the stem,<ref name="Wein"/> and the fruit is an achene. Each individual tussock comprises 300–600 tillers,<ref name="Howard"/> which contain two or three needle-like leaves enclosed in a sheath at the base. The density of tillers in a tussock depends both upon the diameter of the tussock (tiller density decreases as tussock diameter increases) and invasion by mosses and shrubs, factors which also affect tiller size and robustness of tiller production.<ref>Fetcher, N. & Shaver, G.R. (1982). Growth and tillering patterns within tussocks of Eriophorum vaginatum. Holarctic Ecology, 5,180-186.</ref>

Distribution and habitat

Eriophorum vaginatum

The arctic tussock tundra ecosystem is characterized by the dominance of Eriophorum spp., in particular E. vaginatum. This species has a circumboreal distribution and can be found throughout the British Isles (except in the southeast), the peaty tundras of Asia and North America, and the subarctic forest zones of Siberia and Western Canada.<ref name="Wein">Wein, R.W. (1973). Eriophorum vaginatum L. Journal of Ecology, 61, 601-615.</ref><ref name="Howard">Template:FEIS</ref> Common in Scotland, it is sometimes referred to as draw-ling or drawmoss.<ref>http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/draw</ref><ref>Highlands and Islands, Darling and Boyd,Pub.Collins, The Fontana New Naturalist,1969.</ref>



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