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

Eriophorum brachyantherum Trautv. & C.A. Mey.
short-anthered cotton-grass (northland cottonsedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29608)

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Distribution of Eriophorum brachyantherum
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Species Information

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Perennial, densely tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems 30-60 cm tall.
Basal sheaths brownish, cross-wrinkled, persistent, not or only slightly expanded upwards, 2 of which with reduced or abortive blades generally borne above the basal cluster of leaves; blades about 1 mm wide or less, 1/2 as long to nearly as long as the stem, elongate, narrow, folded, the lower leaves with short blades less than 2 mm wide, the upper ones above the middle of the stem.
Spikes solitary, terminal, erect, egg-shaped and 1-2 cm long in flower, egg-shaped to nearly globe-shaped and 2-4 cm long in fruit; anthers short, up to about 1 mm long; involucral bracts lacking.
Scales of uniform colour, at least in the exposed portions, blackish-green, narrowly lanceolate, appressed to ascending, gradually tapering to slender tips, the midribs not reaching the tips, the sterile scales 10 to 15, below the fertile ones and appearing to gradually taper to the bases, or the sterile scales fewer and the spikes broader based, the lowermost scales 0.5-1 cm long, not reflexed; perianth bristles numerous, cream-coloured or yellow-tinged, surpassing the achenes; achenes brown, a little over 2 mm long, egg-shaped, sometimes narrowly so, somewhat sharp-pointed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Bogs, fens and wet (often calcareous) meadows in the montane to alpine zones; common in BC north of 52degreeN and in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT and E to NF; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Eriophorum brachyantherum

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) 320 825 1464
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 8
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
22 53 148
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 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(12), ESSF(4), ICH(4), SBPS(3), SBS(10)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References