Herb: Cotton Grass

Latin name: Eriophorum gracile

Family: Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Edible parts of Cotton Grass:

Young stem bases - raw or cooked. Root - raw or cooked. The blackish covering should be removed.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Rare and local in wet acid bogs.

Other uses of Cotton Grass:

The cottony seed hairs are used to make candle wicks. They are also used for stuffing pillows, paper making etc and as a tinder.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow in situ in spring in a moist soil in light shade. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 6 weeks at 15C. If the seed is in short supply it can be sown in pots in a cold frame. Place the pots in a try of water to keep the compost moist. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of Cotton Grass:

Rare and local in wet acid bogs.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Eriophorum gracile:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.