First photos received in today of the Cottongrass on show on the North York Moors this year.
Cottongrass is fluffy and with cotton-like flower and seed heads it gives this distinctive plant it’s name, however as a member of the sedge family it technically isn’t a grass at all. After fertilisation in early summer, the small, unremarkable green and brown flowers develop distinctive white seed-heads that resemble tufts of cotton. Combined with its ecological suitability to bog, these characteristics give rise to the plant’s alternative name, bog cotton.
The Cotton Grass is a very welcome sight on the moors as it is a sign of a healthy bog, growing on managed blanket bog and wet heath areas. The moorland birds thrive on the high protein seed heads of the cotton grass and it is a really important host plant for insects.