Eriophorum callitrix

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Arctic cottongrass
Arctic cottongrass, Inuvik, NT.jpg
Arctic cottongrass growing near Inuvik, Canada
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Eriophorum
Species: E. callitrix
Binomial name
Eriophorum callitrix

Eriophorum callitrix, commonly known as Arctic cotton, Arctic cottongrass, suputi, or pualunnguat in Inuktitut, is a perennial Arctic plant in the Cyperaceae family. It is one of the most widespread flowing plants in the northern hemisphere and tundra regions. Upon every stem grows a single round, white and wooly fruit. The seed heads are covered in this cottony mass and usually disperse when the wind carries them away. They also have narrow, grass-like leaves. This plant is food for migrating snow geese, caribou and their calves. The Inuit used the seed heads as wicks in seal oil lamps. Clumps were placed into babies' pants and then thrown away when soiled.


  1. ^  Species description was originally published in Mem. Sav. Etr. Petersb. i. (1831) 203. t. 2. "Plant Name Details for Eriophorum callitrix". IPNI. Retrieved July 14, 2010. Notes: Ins. S. Laurent 

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