Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bristleseed Star-grass - Hypoxis wrightii   (Baker) Brackett
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Section 5 » Order Liliales » Family Hypoxidaceae
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Author(Baker) Brackett
DistributionNearly throughout the southern 2/3rds of the Coastal Plain, ranging north to Wake, Martin, and Dare counties. As it does occur in VA, it ought to be found in northern Coastal Plain counties in NC.

This is still another Coastal Plain species of star-grass, ranging north to eastern VA, south to southern FL, and west to eastern TX. There are a few scattered records far inland in AL and MS.
AbundanceFairly common to locally common from Croatan National Forest (Craven and Carteret counties) and Cumberland County southward, probably most frequent in the southern coastal counties. Uncommon in the northern part of the NC range.
HabitatThis species has a bit broader range of habitats than several other Hypoxis species, which may be limited to wet pine savannas. This species grows in savannas as well as moist pine flatwoods, but it can occur in ditches and other damp ground. It is the most numerous of the state's Hypoxis species in savannas in NC.
PhenologyBlooms somewhat earlier than most other star-grasses, in March and April; fruits in April and May. It can bloom and fruit later if disturbed by a burn.
IdentificationThis is similar to the other star-grasses, with narrow basal leaves and a flowering scape of bright yellow flowers. The most obvious "eyeball" feature of this species is that most plants have just a single flower, as opposed to usually 2-3 or more in other species. It also has basal sheaths that are very slender and fiber-like on disintegration, and these are flexible as opposed to stiff. Most of the identifying characters deal with the seed and other hand lens characters. See Weakley (2018) for more details. When you are walking through savannas and flatwoods, look for a star-grass with a single flower, and odds are good that it will be this species; however, you likely will want additional characters to be sure.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species is often named as Hypoxis micrantha, though most current references now use H. wrightii.

Other Common Name(s)Pineland Star-grass, Wright's Star-grass, Bristleseed Yellow Star-grass
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