Family, Amaryllis. Color, yellow. Perianth, 6-parted, greenish, rough, hairy on the outside, yellow within. Stamens, 6. Root, a small bulb. The bright, star-like blossoms grow, 1 to 3 or 4, on a scape less than a foot high. Leaves, grasslike, stiff, hairy, longer than the flower-stem.
In meadows and borders of woods, Maine to Florida. (See illustration, p. 158.)
This is not a grass, as its common name would seem to imply. In connection with this flower I recall an incident of a botanical excursion. Rev. Thomas Morong, an eminent botanist, now deceased, was the teacher and guide. Among the excursionists were some amateur botanists who knew the flowers only by their common names. One of these young ladies found the hypoxis, and called it "yellow star-grass."
Star-grass (Hypoxis hirsuta)
"It is not a grass at all," said the professor. "It is Hy-poxis ere eta." l
Said another, "I suppose we may call its cousin, the flower so nearly like it, 'blue-eyed grass'?" "You certainly may not," the professor answered, impatiently. 'That is also not in any sense a grass. It is Sisyrinchium augustifolium, a member of the Iris Family. These two flowers have no relation to each other. The hypoxis is an amaryllis. Why do people learn these common names, which are often so misleading, when it is just as easy to associate a plant with its only true name?"