Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Xyris torta J.E. Smith
- Family: Yellow-eyed-grass (Xyridaceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: This species is recognized by its distinctly twisted stem and its bulbs.
- Habitat: Bogs, shores, wet woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb from bulbs, the bulbs several, pale brown, up to 1/2 inch thick.
- Stems: Upright, smooth, slender, distinctly twisted, 2-ribbed, up to 2 feet tall, bearing no leaves but only a solitary, terminal head.
- Leaves: All basal, upright, linear, stiff, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, smooth, twisted, up to 12 inches long and 1/6 inch wide, developing from hard, brown bulbs.
- Flowers: Several crowded into a head, the head solitary, terminal, ovoid to spherical, rounded at the tip, 1/4-3/4 inch long, each flower subtended by a scale (bract), the bracts obovate, brown, longer than the lateral sepals.
- Sepals: 3, the 2 lateral ones with a minutely hairy keel, up to 1/6 inch long, smaller than the third sepal.
- Petals: 3, united below to form a narrow tube, yellow, the lobes all equal.
- Stamens: 3, attached to the tube of the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; styles 3.
- Fruits: Capsules ellipsoid, smooth, containing minute, elongated seeds.
- Notes: The seeds are eaten by waterfowl.
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