3-6 drooping spikelets, long, slender, smooth stalks. Cotton 4-5cm long when fruiting. Brownish glumes with broad membranous margins. Channelled leaf-blades, 3-5mm, tip fine-pointed. Roundish stems, upper part 3-angled. Single stems from creeping rhizomes.
The most frequent Cottongrass, found on both acidic and calcareous wet peaty soils. Abundant on upland blanket bogs, wet heaths, lowland marshy meadows throughout Ireland.
Similar: Broad-leaved Cottongrass, E. latifolium.
Tufted stems. Flat leaf blades. 2-12 spikelets, cotton 2-3cm. Rare, mainly found in W and Central Ireland.