Eriophorum (Cotton Grass)
Cotton Grasses are very popular for a reason. Their flowers heads of cotton give a whole new visual aspect to the water garden. They all grow in shallow water and are therefore, suitable for the margins of ponds and lakes, and the non-invasive species, looks great when planted into bog-gardens.
Eriophorum Angustifolium (Can Be Invasive)
This species is also known as Common Cotton Grass, is abundant across the Northern Hemisphere. It has narrow, dark green leaves and white cotton heads. Consideration should be given when planting out this particular species as it is quite invasive, but its growth rate will be reduced and not a problem, if planted into Aquatic Baskets which can be put into man-made, fibreglass or lined ponds. This species will grow to a height of 75 cm and prefers a water depth of 6 cm. Flowering in April-June, this Cotton Grass is quite an interesting plant and a lovely addition to have in your pond.
Commonly named as the Broad Leafed Cotton Grass, this is by far my favourite one of all. With it’s compact growing habit and production of masses of pure, white cotton heads, it is very popular and makes a excellent marginal plant for all ponds. Latifoium will grow up to 75 cm in height and will grow happily in a water depth of 6 cm. Flowering in May-July, it’s a wonderful and visually pleasing Grass to have in your pond.
Golden Cotton Grass, also sometimes known as Red Cotton Grass, is certainly a very unusual cultivar indeed. With it’s golden coloured cotton heads borne out of narrow needle-like green leaves, it truly is quite an interesting and spectacular sight. Fortunately, it’s a non-invasive sedge which comes from North America and grows to a shorter height of 40 cm. Russeolum prefers to grow in water up to a depth of 6 cm and will produce flowers from June-August.
Also known as Tussock Cotton Grass, this species can be found throughout the northern latitude including the UK, although as yet, absent from the South East of England. Vaginatum is a shorter growing variety which grows up to a height of 20-30 cm and in April-May, it produces Cotton Tussocks that change colour with age. The colour changes includes black, white and varied shades of brown, grey and yellow. This species prefers very shallow water from 0-2 cm in depth.