Single erect flower spike on each stem. Grey membranous glumes. Cotton 2-3cm long when fruiting. Densely tufted stems. Narrow leaves, short stem leaves with inflated sheaths. Short rhizomes.
Very frequent on open, acidic moorland and bogs in N, W and central Ireland, occasional in S and E.
Related: Slender Cottongrass, E. gracile.
3-6 spikelets, glumes without membranous margins. Cotton 1-2.5cm when fruiting. Calcareous or moderately acidic wet bogs, mires, fens. Very rare, only W Galway and at sites in Kerry, Cork, W Meath.