Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Cotton-Grass

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COTTON-GRASS, a name given to the species of the genus Eriophorum, because of their fruit being clothed at the base with a silky or cotton-like substance. It really belongs, not to the grasses, but to the sedges (Cyperaceæ). There are several species; the most common is Eriophorum angustifolium, the narrow-leaved cotton grass. Paper and the wicks of candles have been made of its cotton, and pillows stuffed with the same material. The leaves were formerly used in diarrhœa, and the spongy pith of the stem for the removal of tapeworm.