Focus species: Hare’s-tail cottongrass

Eriophorum vaginatum

Hare’s-tail cottongrass, © Alessia Guggisberg

The knowledge of various experts was included in the selection of the plant species.


  • Related to sour grass family, Cyperaceae
  • Characteristics:
    • Stem 20-50 cm tall, triangular at the top.
    • Leaves bristly
    • Upper leaf sheath without blade, clearly inflated
    • Spikes solitary, terminal, erect, ovate
    • Bracts enclose the spike
    • Bracts black below, turning silvery-white above
    • perigone bristles changing into long threads after flowering, becoming a white woolly tufts
    • Fruit yellow-brown, 2-3mm long
  • Flowering time: April – May
  • Habitat: Peat bogs, montane-subalpine
  • Distribution: Eurosiberian-North American, colline – alpine
Landkarte zur Illustration der Verbreitung des Scheiden-Wollgras
© Info Flora / GEOSTAT / Swisstopo
  • Endangerment and protection measures
    • Red List (Switzerland): Near threatened (NT)

Source: Flora Helvetica 5th edition, Info Flora