Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Pineland Yellow-eyed-grass - Xyris stricta   Chapman
Members of Xyris with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Family Xyridaceae
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DistributionSouthern outer Coastal Plain. To date, known only from Brunswick (Green Swamp and near Exum), Carteret (Croatan National Forest), and Pender (B.W. Wells Savanna) counties. This species was not known for NC or SC when RAB (1968) was published.

Coastal Plain, NC to northern FL and southeastern LA.
AbundanceVery rare; the NCNHP database lists only 4 records. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatWet Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass savannas, ditches through this habitat.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late July-September.
IdentificationThe scape (stem) of Pineland Yellow-eyed-grass usually is flattened just below the head, thus resembling Bog Yellow-eyed-grass (X. difformis), but lateral sepals have short prickly keels (vs. lacerate or irregularly cut in that species). Coastal-plain Yellow-eyed-grass (X. ambigua) is similar, but has broader heads and much wider leaves (up to 20 mm wide vs. a maximum of 5 mm).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Members of Xyris are easy to identify to genus, but can be a challenge to identify species. Careful observation of a few features with a hand-lens is usually sufficient. Close attention must be paid to the flowering head, which is composed of overlapping brown scales. Immediately behind each scale are two brown "lateral sepals"; the margins of these may be feathery or irregularly lacerate (cut into narrow segments) or finely cut into short, comb-like prickles. Lateral sepals may be hidden or a bit longer than each scale. The flowers themselves are usually of little diagnostic value, other than time of flowering -- morning vs. afternoon. Seed size and ornamentation can also be useful characters, but require a dissecting scope to see well. Note also whether leaves and scapes (stems) are twisted and the color of the basal portion. All species have 2-ranked leaves, but in some species the leaves are arranged in a broad, fan-like shape. Finally, note the leaf and stem surface texture -- whether smooth of with little pale bumps. See Godfrey & Wooten (1979) for detailed descriptions and drawings.
Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS1
Global RankG4
State StatusE
US Status
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B.A. SorriePhoto taken 1996, Hancock County, MS. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC

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