Family, Yellow-eyed Grass. Color, yellow. Flowers, attended by a bract, crowded into a cone-like, small head. Sepals and petals, 3. Stamens, 3 fertile, 3 sterile alternating with the fertile. Style, 3-cleft. Leaves, grass-like, twisted. Summer.
In the sandy marshes, with cranberry, sundew, and marsh St. John's-wort, the little yellow dots of xyris are everywhere. It rises tall, a foot or more, with a somewhat flattened stem, bearing at the top a small, brownish, nearly round head of scales. If we call it a tiny pine-cone, no bigger than a small pea, we give it as the naked eye sees it. From the top of this cone, or a little to one side, spring 1,2, or 3 flowers, each showing just 3 wide-open golden petals. There are also 3 small sepals, one larger than the others. fringed with short hairs. The stem, and often the leaves, are twisted. Botanically the little cone is a head of bracts, from within each of which a blossom may spring. The flower withers very soon after picking. Massachusetts to South Carolina and westward. (See illustration, p. 148.)
Yellow-Eyed Grass (Xyris flexuosa)