Also known as Common Cottage Sedge, it grows on peat or acidic soils, in open wetland, heath or moorland. It begins to flower in April or May and, after fertilisation in early summer, the small, unremarkable brown and green flowers develop distinctive white bristle-like 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. Can be cultivated as a low-maintenance wildflower, suitable for meadows, ponds margins or bog gardens.
Used as a pond plant, it can make a great marginal plant in shallow water. Common cotton grass has long erect stems that grow clumps in spring and once fertilised, look like cotton wool, sitting on top of the stems.