Plant Details

Eriophorum virginicum

Tawny Cottongrass, Tawny Cottonsedge

Scientific Name:

Eriophorum virginicum

Common Name:

Tawny Cottongrass, Tawny Cottonsedge

Plant Family

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)


NC Native



Size in Feet:

1.5 - 4

Bloom Time:

June - July - August - September

Bloom Area:

Statewide (Mountains, Piedmont, Coast)

Habitat Description:

Peaty sites, limited in habitat throughout the region, occurring in the Mountains in bogs and fens, in the Piedmont (formerly) in bogs, in the fall-line sandhills in burned-out pocosins, in the Coastal Plain in pocosins, acidic seeps, and peat-burn pools. Rare throughout NC.

State Rank:

S3: Vulnerable (*)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*)

State Status:

W1: Watch List: Rare but Relatively Secure (*)

Federal Status:

No U.S. Status Listed (*)

In bloom

An uncommon sedge, Cottongrass is found in peaty sites, bogs, fens, seeps and wet ditches. Usually smaller in the mountains than the coastal plains.


Paynter, Watauga Co.

Closeup of seedhead


March, 2011


USDA PLANTS Database Record

Bird-Friendly Native Plants

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