Scientific name

Xyris L.

Common names

yellow-eyed grass



Could be confused with

Eriocaulon, Philydrum, Triglochin

Native distribution

widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the world

Species commonly cultivated

Xyris indica L. (Asia to Australia)

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

Xyris indica is sometimes weedy in rice fields.


Submersed or commonly emergent, narrow-leafed rosette plant.

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Stem a compact, erect rhizome. Leaves in a basal rosette, sheathed basally, alternate, submersed or more usually emergent; leaf blade linear or capillary. Inflorescence a compact head-like spike on elongate naked peduncle; flowers tightly packed between bracts. Sepals 3: 2 small, 1 large and hooded; petals 3, fused only at very base, large, yellow or white; stamens 3. Dispersal by seed.

Natural habitat

Swamps, marshes, margins of lakes and rivers. Xyris indica is commonly found along sandy water courses.

Additional comments

Xyris contains over 200 species worldwide, but only X. indica is commonly cultivated as a pond plant. More species may be added as this genus becomes more widely known for use in ponds.