E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Eriophorum viridicarinatum (Engelm.) Fernald
green-keeled cotton-grass (thinleaf cottonsedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74474)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Eriophorum viridicarinatum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from thin rhizomes; stems 30-100 cm tall.
Mainly basal, flat except at the tips, stem leaves 2 or more; sheaths green, the basal, persistent ones brownish, cross-wrinkled; blades 2-6 mm wide, flat, except at the tips, the uppermost equalling or surpassing the sheaths.
Spikes 4 to 10, terminal, loosely aggregated, usually stalked, the stalks pendulous, to 5 cm long, slender, rough, short-hairy, or rarely all unstalked, egg-shaped, 0.6-1 cm long in flower, 1.5-3 cm long in fruit; anthers 1-1.3 mm long; involucral bracts 2 to 3, green with light brown bases, usually the longest ones surpassing the inflorescence.
Scales blackish-green, narrowly egg-shaped, appressed to ascending, 1-ribbed, blunt, the conspicuous, paler midribs expanded at, and extending to the tips; perianth bristles numerous, creamy-white to tawny, many times longer than the achenes; achenes narrowly egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Bogs, marshes and wet meadows in the montane to alpine zones; frequent in NW and E BC, infrequent in SC BC; N to AK and YT, E to NF and S to NY, IA, OH, MI, CO and ID.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Eriophorum viridicarinatum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 380 791 1440
Slope Gradient (%) 0 2 55
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
60 85 338
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(8), CWH(1), ESSF(1), ICH(8), IDF(1), MH(1), MS(3), SBPS(1), SBS(19)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Eriophorum polystachion var. viridicarinatum

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References