13th July 2020

In_pictures In pictures: Cairngorms’ ‘snowy fields’ of bog cotton

In_pictures In pictures: Cairngorms’ ‘snowy fields’ of bog cotton

In_pictures

in_pictures CottongrassImage copyright
Rishane Brenner Colas/Into The Wild Conservation

Image caption

Bog cotton is a plant called sedge that grows in bogs across the UK

The fluffy heads of cottongrass have left parts of the Cairngorms looking like they are covered in a dusting of snow.

The plant, also known as bog cotton and ghost grass, grows in bogs across the UK and Ireland.

in_pictures Bog cotton in the CairngormsImage copyright
Pete Crane

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Cottongrass in the Cairngorms

The sedge develops its white fluffy seed-heads in early summer, and conservationists have described this year’s “display” as particularly striking.

In the Cairngorms, boggy ground in and around RSPB Scotland’s Abernethy reserve have been transformed by fluffy cottongrass.

Pete Crane, head of visitor services at the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said they had never seen so much flowering bog cotton.

in_pictures CottongrassImage copyright
Rishane Brenner Colas/Into The Wild Conservation

Image caption

The plant develops fluffy seed-heads in early summer

In the past, the seed-heads have been used as a substitute for feathers in pillows and the wicks for candles, according to the charity Plantlife.

It said in Scotland the fibres were used for dressing the wounds of soldiers injured in World War One.

in_pictures CottongrassImage copyright
Rishane Brenner Colas/Into The Wild Conservation

Image caption

Ghost grass is another name given to the sedge

All images are copyrighted.

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