Photo: Eriocaulon parkeri

Eriocaulon parkeri B.L. Robins.

Parker's Pipewort

Habitat: Fresh to brackish tidal mud and estuaries. [Tidal wetland (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Virginia to Maine, estuaries of the St. Lawrence River, Quebec. Has become rare as far south as Connecticut; its Maine populations are particularly significant as they are at the northern edge of its range. It is rare anywhere in Canada, also rare in New York and Pennsylvania.

Photo: Eriocaulon parkeri

Aids to Identification: Parker's pipewort looks like a diminutive version of the common pipewort (E. aquaticum) which is found in shallow freshwater throughout the northeast. Parker's pipewort, however, grows only 5-10 cm high, with narrow lance-shaped leaves in a basal rosette. Its hemispherical flower heads, each borne on a scape above the foliage, are like small white buttons, measuring 3-4 mm wide. The inflorescences of E. aquaticum are subglobose and measure 4-5 mm wide.

Ecological characteristics: Grows primarily on fresh tidal mudflats, and is often visible only at low tide. It may occur in relatively extensive colonies, or as only a few plants.

Photo: Eriocaulon parkeri

Phenology: Flowers July - October.

Family: Eriocaulaceae

Synonyms: None noted.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 19 town(s) in the following county(ies): Cumberland, Kennebec, Lincoln, Penobscot, Sagadahoc, York.

Photo: Eriocaulon parkeri

Reason(s) for rarity: Unknown; at northern edge of its range.

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

For more information, see the Native Plant Trust's Conservation Plan for Eriocaulon parkeri.