The cricket’s chirp, the shorter days, the bloom of goldenrod and cotton-grass – all are bittersweet signs of the passing of the seasons at Acadia National Park.
The white tufts of cotton-grass particularly sadden Jill E. Weber, co-author of the field guide, “The Plants of Acadia National Park,” because “it means summer’s almost over.”
Though you may never have seen cotton-grass, you will know it when you see it.
Four varieties of cotton-grass are listed in “The Plants of Acadia National Park,” a project of the Garden Club of Mount Desert, Friends of Acadia and the Maine Natural History Observatory, and they all have a distinctive cottony bloom and grow in wetlands.
Despite its name and appearance, cotton-grass is not a grass, but a sedge. In fact, about a quarter of the plants in Acadia are grass-like, some of which are sedges, others of which are rushes, and the rest true grasses. Acadia’s web site even features a handy rhyme to distinguish a sedge from a rush from a grass. Continue reading