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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 42. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/4/2009)


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1. Xyris L. (yellow‑eyed grass)

(Kral, 1966)

Plants annual or perennial, usually stemless, the base usually somewhat bulbous. Leaves in basal rosettes, linear or narrowly oblanceolate, the bases flaring abruptly into a short sheath. Inflorescences long‑stalked, dense, conelike spikes, the flowers partially enclosed by bracts, these brown, broad, leathery or papery, overlapping. Flowers perfect, open for less than a day. Sepals 3, the outer one membranous, deciduous at flowering, the inner pair membranous to papery, persistent, clasping the fruit, boat‑shaped, strongly keeled, the keel crested with a hairlike fringe or irregularly and unevenly toothed. Corollas yellow (white or blue elsewhere), actinomorphic, of 3 petals, these long‑clawed at the base and with a broadly triangular blade, the apex subentire to shallowly toothed. Stamens 3, opposite the petals and fused to the petal bases. Staminodes 3, alternating with the petals, the basal portions flattened, branching apically into 2 ciliate lobes. Carpels 3, fused, the ovary superior, with 1 locule, the style 3‑branched in the apical 1/3–1/2, the stigmatic areas truncate. Fruits capsules, enfolded by the 2 persistent sepals and mostly hidden by the bracts. Seeds numerous, minute. About 240 species, nearly worldwide, especially in the tropics.

The seeds of many of the species in this genus are eaten by waterfowl.


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1 Plant bases green or yellowish green; sepals with the crest unevenly and irregularly toothed 1 Xyris jupicai
+ Plant bases dark brown; sepals with the crest with a hairlike fringe near the tip, toothed elsewhere 2 Xyris torta
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