Scientific name

Eriocaulon L.

Common names




Could be confused with

Blyxa, Maidenia, Stratiotes, Tonina, Xyris

Native distribution

cosmopolitan, mostly in warmer regions

Species commonly cultivated

Eriocaulon setaceum L. (Australia, Papua New Guinea, Asia)

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

information not available

Brief description

Annual or rarely perennial. Monoecious or dioecious. Stem elongate in aquatic species and compact in flood tolerant species. Leaves cauline or spirally arranged in basal rosette; submersed leaves narrowly linear, emersed leaves lanceolate, venation parallel; margin entire. Inflorescence a dense head, subtended by involucre of bracts, borne on an elongate peduncle, solitary or in umbels. Flowers unisexual; perianth in 2 series, each with 2-3 segments. Dispersal by seed.

Natural habitat

clear, shallow waters of ephemeral water bodies

Additional comments

A genus comprising approximately 400 species worldwide. Many species are tolerant of periodic submersion, but only six species are considered strictly aquatic. Aquatic species typically have elongate stems with narrow leaves along the entire stem length.