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Published In: Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 5(8): 118. 1894. (Mem. Torrey Bot. Club) 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 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Hypoxis hirsuta (L.) Coville (yellow star grass)

Pl. 104 a, b; Map 416

H. hirsuta f. villosissima Fernald

Plants perennial, with corms, lacking the odor of onion or garlic. Aerial stems 2–25 cm long, unbranched below the inflorescence, erect, sparsely to densely hairy. Leaves 2–6, basal, 6–30 cm long, linear, with 5–9 main veins, sparsely to densely hairy. Inflorescences at the tips of the aerial stems, irregular umbels of 2–6 flowers, sometimes reduced to a single flower, subtended by 1–2 small, linear bracts when young. Flowers with stalks 3–25 mm long, ascending to spreading, not replaced by bulblets. Perianth 5–13 mm long, spreading, the sepals and petals attached to the top of the ovary, ovate to narrowly oblong or nearly linear, the inner (upper) surface yellow, glabrous, the outer (under) surface yellowish green in bud to usually yellow at flowering, hairy. Stamens 6, attached to the top of the ovary, free from the perianth. Style 1, short, slightly thickened near the tip, the stigma 3-lobed, the lobes receptive on the inner surface. Ovary inferior, with 3 locules, each with 3–5 ovules, hairy. Fruits 3–6 mm long, ovoid, capsulelike but indehiscent, with papery walls. 2n=28. April–May, rarely reblooming through the summer until October.

Common nearly throughout Missouri, but apparently absent from the Mississippi Lowlands Division (eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada west to Minnesota and Texas). Mesic to dry upland prairies, glades, exposed bluff tops, dry upland forests, and old fields.

This species is quite variable in both the size of the plants and the size of the flowers. Other unusual features include the indehiscent, dry fruits with shiny, black, ovoid to globose seeds covered with tiny bumps or spines, and anthers that diverge in the lower half, giving the stamens an “arrowhead-like” appearance.



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