Xyris smalliana Nash

Yellow-eyed Grass

Habitat: Bogs and pond margins. [Open wetland, not coastal nor rivershore (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Eastern Massachusetts to New Jersey.

Aids to Identification: Yellow-eyed grass is a semi-aquatic plant which grows in marshes and bogs. It stands 30-60 cm high with iris-like leaves. The ovoid flower head is about 2 cm long and made up of small yellow flowers subtended by brown scales with a central green stripe. The flowers have 3 petals and 3 sepals with the upper sepal markedly different from the 2 lateral ones. It can be identified apart from other yellow-eyed grasses in Maine by the following characters: its leaves are 3-10 mm wide; the inflorescence is 1-2.5 cm tall; and its seeds are 0.6-0.7 mm long.

Ecological characteristics: Ecological relationships in Maine are not well known.

Phenology: Flowers in August.

Family: Xyridaceae

Synonyms: Xyris caroliniana Walt. var. olneyi Wood; Xyris congdonii Small; Xyris smalliana Nash var. olneyi (Wood) Gleason.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): York.

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Prevent degradation of pondshore habitat from adjacent land uses.