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Fluffy vaginal: description

One of the earliest plants of the tundra is vaginal fluff. Spectacular large kochkobraznye turf, bright greenery and unusual fluffy inflorescences attract attention and look very interesting. The plant is valued not only as a forage, but also as a valuable peat product, and is also actively used in garden and park design.

Cotton fluff: spreading

This species, belonging to the genus Puszica, has a very extensive area, which includes the regions of North America, Eurasia with a cold and temperate climate. The northern boundary of the distribution reaches the New Earth. In Russia it grows almost everywhere, including in the middle belt. The most characteristic habitat for plants are sphagnum and sphagnum-sedge bogs, mainly supreme, that is, fed by atmospheric precipitation. This is the main factor by which cotton fluff differs from related species (narrow-leaved and broad-leaved). The latter prefer key and lowland swamps.

In addition, the species actively settles on overgrowing lake shores, in boggy coniferous forests, usually pine, as well as in moss tundra. High growth rate and resistance to environmental factors make it possible in a short time to form thickets, extensive kochkarniki.

Roots, stems, leaves

All representatives of the genus Puszyca are perennial grasses from 30 to 70 cm in height, more rarely 90 cm. In the process of growth, large and dense sod or hummocks form. The species in question, unlike others, has a shortened rhizome with lobed, branchy roots, and not a creeping one. The stalk of the plant is erect.

Cudweed was given a vaginal name in connection with the presence of a special part of the leaf, which is located at the very base. It is expanded in the form of a tube or groove and covers a stem up to 12 cm long (pictured above). In the severe northern climate, it protects the lower basal trihedral leaves from frost. Stem vaginas can be red-brown, pink-brown, sometimes with a yellowish tint of color, the edges are fibrous.

Flowers and fruits

Bisexual flowers are collected in a single multiflorous spikelet located on the top of the shoot. A striking feature of the genus of plants is the presence of the perianth of soft and smooth bristles (hairs), most often white. It was this feature that determined the name of the whole genus of plants.

After the vaginal fluff (photo see in the article) will fade, the hairs increase greatly, repeatedly exceeding the length of the fetus and form a fluffy "cap", or the so-called puff ovoid or globular in diameter up to 3-4 cm in diameter. Their biological significance is In the adaptation to anemochory, that is, the spread of seeds by the wind, and also the ability to be fixed on a moist soil due to high hygroscopicity.

Fruit - nuts oblong trihedral form of brown, and sometimes with a yellow shade of color, dimensions - up to 3 mm in length and 1.3-1.5 mm in width. Periods of flowering depend on the place of growth, in Russia - April-May.

Fluffy vaginal: value

All representatives of the genus are active peat formers, some species are especially valuable in that they constitute the bulk of peat, known as "cucumbers". Previously, puffs used to stuff pillows, create wicks, hats, tinder, impurities to the wool of sheep, cotton or linen, silk fabrics and in paper production.

Due to the extensive range of growth, the vaginal fluff is an important fodder plant, appearing one of the first spring in natural areas with poor vegetation (sphagnum and transitional marshes, tundra, swampy deciduous forests). One centner of grass contains 25.2 fodder units and a significant amount of digestible protein (3 kg). The plant is the main component of the year-round diet of reindeer, which even in winter dig it out from under the snow cover. In the spring, it eats moose and lemmings, waterfowl.

Use in folk medicine

The plant as a medicinal plant is not recognized as official medicine. However, in folk methods of treatment it is used as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory drug. Contraindications as such are not established by science, the plant is not poisonous. However, apply it, like any other medicine, with caution, keeping the dosage.

Chemically, the composition of cotton grass is not fully understood. It is known that the epidermis of stems and leaves is impregnated with silicic acid, which explains their stiffness. Rhizome contains essential oil. In general, the plant is rich in protein, sugars, microelements and vitamins.

Fluffy vaginal has diuretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedative properties, has a positive effect on the work of the gastrointestinal tract, removes irritability, helps wash out uric acid salts from the body. Herb plants are used to make infusion, decoction, napara, spikelets - for brewing.

Use as an ornamental plant

In garden and park floriculture, plants of the Osok family are used very actively, including vaginal cotton grass. The plant description would be incomplete without mentioning its use as decorative. Large and dense sod bright green look bright and interesting, the effect is doubled with the appearance of numerous white "down jackets."

Since the plant is a typical inhabitant of sphagnum bogs, wetland meadows, wetlands, the place on the site should be chosen accordingly. It is best to plant cotton grass in shallow water, along the edges of a pond, artificial pond or swamp. At the same time, the lighting should be full, only light shading is permissible. The plant prefers acid water and soil (silt, with the addition of peat).

The main care for the vaginal fluff in the garden will be to maintain the necessary moisture level of the soil, which should not dry up. Wilted inflorescences are recommended to be removed early in the spring, as the seeds stay on the plants for a long time - this is a factor limiting the growth of the sod. Representatives of the Osok family are prone to rapid and uncontrolled proliferation.

Use cotton grass for the design of rockeries, heath garden, shores of reservoirs, planting it in groups or small arrays. Faded inflorescences look beautiful when decorating bouquets of fresh flowers or compositions of dried flowers.

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