Eriophorum vaginatum (Hare`s-tail Cottongrass)


Summary Information


A tussock-forming rhizomatous perennial herb of wet heaths and mires, including blanket- and raised bogs. It is characteristic of wet peaty moorlands, often dominant or co-dominant with Calluna vulgaris, where it survives, or even increases, after burning. Its sites are always open and almost always acidic. 0-945 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreo-arctic Montane element.


Photos Information


Habitats Information

Broad Habitats


Light (Ellenberg): 8 Information

Moisture (Ellenberg): 8 Information

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2 Information

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 1 Information

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0 Information

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.1 Information

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.6 Information

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1307 Information

Life Form

Life Form Information

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Perennation - secondary

Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary



Clonality - primary

Tussock-forming graminoid, may slowly spread

Clonality - secondary


Distribution Information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1516

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 560

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.36

Weighted Changed Factor: 8

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Conservation Status

Conservation Status Information

Plantatt Conservation Status

Other Accounts

Other Accounts Information


References Information

PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections.
A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (347b)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R.  1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M.  1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E.  1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Wein RW.  1973.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 132. Eriophorum vaginatum L. Journal of Ecology. 61:601-615.