West Highland Flora

Broad-leaved Bog-cotton


Eriophorum latifolium

 

Eriophorum latifolium

Photo Carl Farmer
29 Jun 2003 Suardal, Skye

Occasional in moorland flushed with alkaline water.  Typical companion species are Tawny Sedge, Dioecious Sedge, Few-flowered Spike-rush and Long-stalked Yellow Sedge.

Plant typically 25-45 cm tall.  Glumes 4-5 mm.  Cottony heads c 1-3 cm long.

ID: If has multiple cottony flowerheads per stem then has to be this species or the much commoner Narrow-leaved Bog-cotton.  The differences are that our species has:

  • Glumes 4-5 mm rather than 6-8 mm
  • Glumes blackish rather than pale brown
  • Glumes with very narrow papery margin, not a broad one
  • Spikes on stalks that look and feel minutely rough, with short hairs.
  • Sheath of topmost leaf tight-fitting
  • Leaves flat (except near tip), not channelled
  • Stem triangular (though with rounded edges) in cross-section, not nearly circular

Despite all these differences the two are hard to tell apart at any distance.  The best way to find this plant is to locate suitable habitat and then examine specimens.

Other features: Leaves triangular at tip, in common with Narrow-leaved B-C.  The stalks of the spikes are sometimes branched, which does not happen in Narrow-leaved.

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Eriophorum latifolium

Photo Carl Farmer
21 Jun 2005 Manish, Raasay
Picture c 6.1 cm wide

Above: showing the black glumes

Right: second leaf from top of stem

  Eriophorum latifolium

Photo Carl Farmer
29 Jun 2003 Suardal, Skye
Leaf 3.2 cm long,
4 mm wide at base


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