Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.
Scientific name: Scirpus cyperinus (L.) Kunth
Common name(s): woolgrass, wool grass, bulrush, cottongrass bulrush, marsh bulrush, teddybear paws, common woolsedge
Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)
-leaf blade 3–10 mm in width
– appears woolly when fully mature/later in the season
– clusters of spikelets share a common pedicel (“stem”)
– may be confused with S. pedicellatus (stalked bulrush) and/or S. atrocinctus (black bulrush); see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage
-meadows and fields
-shores of rivers
-named for its perianth bristles of the inflorescence that good it a woolly appearance
-the Ojibwa used common woodsedge for weaving bags and mats
-the Potawatomi used the fruiting heads to stuff pillows
Go botany. “Scirpus Cyperinus (L.) Kunth.” Scirpus Cyperinus (Common Woolsedge, Woolgrass): Go Botany, 2021, gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org/species/scirpus/cyperinus/.
Eric T. Doucette, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Biology, MA College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA (updated Feb 2018)