Cottongrass

Cottongrass, Eriophorum sp.

The fluffy, white seed heads of cottongrass are a conspicuous component of most arctic landscapes. Given their abundance, it is no surprise that the Inuit made good use of them. Small matted packets of the seed heads were used as wicks in oil lamps, while larger bundles were used as absorbent linings in the trousers worn by infants – perhaps the world's first disposable diapers!