Xyris elliottii

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Xyris elliottii
Xyri elli.jpg
Photo by Shirley Denton (Copyrighted, use by photographer’s permission only), Nature Photography by Shirley Denton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Commelinales
Family: Xyridaceae
Genus: Xyris
Species: X. elliottii
Binomial name
Xyris elliottii
XYRI ELLI dist.jpg
Natural range of Xyris elliottii from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Elliott's yellow-eyed grass

Taxonomic notes

Variations: Xyris elliottii var. stenotera Malme.[1]


A description of Xyris elliottii is provided in The Flora of North America.




Xyris elliotti can occur in floating islands of depression swamps, lake shores, wet pine flatwoods, pine-palmetto flats, dune swales, flatwoods bogs, moist pine barrens, Hypericum marshes, cypress domes, sinkhole lake shores, dune hollows, grass-sedge bogs, cypress-gum swamps, hardwood hammocks, and seepage slopes. It has occurred in disturbed areas such as roadside depressions, drying borrow pit ponds, bulldozed flatwoods, and powerline corridors.[2] Soils types include peaty soil, loamy sand, peaty sand, Mandarin (Typic Haplhumods), Clarendon (Plinthaquic Paleudults), and Pineda and Riviera (Arenic Glossaqualfs).[2] This species has also been found in pine-palmetto and wet prairie habitats. It is common and has a poor forage value.[3] X. elliottii decreased in occurrence or was unaffected in response to soil disturbance by roller chopping in south Florida.[4]

Xyris elliottii is an indicator species for the Peninsula Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[5]

Associated species include Decodon, Drosera, Polygala, Spartina patens, Centella asiatica, Lycopodium, Syngonanthus flavidulus, Panicum hemitomon, Scleria reticularis, Rhynchospora, Andropogon, Juncus, Amphicarpum muhlenbergianum, Lycopodium appressum, Lachnocaulon engleri, Syngonanthus flavidulus, Sarracenia flava, Polygala, Rhexia, Rhynchospora, Platanthera nivea, Panicum erectifolia, Aster eryngifolius, Rhexia lutea, Polygala chapmanii, Xyris drummondii, X. fimbriata, Scleria reticularis and Panicum tenerum.[2]


Flowers May through July[6] and fruits April through September.[2]

Fire ecology

Urban sprawl and fire suppression have caused habitat depletion locally, state-wide, nation-wide, and around the world. Fortunately, there have been pineland communities that have been maintain by natural-set fires. Carr (2010) and her colleagues presented a classification and description of these pineland communities creating comprehensive vegetation surveys for each community type. Within the peninsula savanna, a wetland community type described by Carr (2010), Xyris elliottii occurs with the ground cover vegetation and is one of the indicator species. Peninsula savannas occur in the Coastal Plain Coastal Lowlands where there are high water tables and where seasonal inundation is common. The soil type is sandier and is higher in organic matter with a subsoil that includes low clay and silt.[7]


Various Hymenoptera species were observed visiting flowers of Xyris elliottii at the Archbold Biological Station. These include bees from the Apidae family (Apis mellifera, Bombus impatiens), plasterer bees from the Colletidae family (Colletes distinctus), sweat bees from the Halictidae family (Augochloropsis sumptuosa, Lasioglossum coreopsis, L. nymphalis), and leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae family (Megachile brevis pseudobrevis).[8]

Herbivory and toxicology

The Florida Grasshopper Sparrow nest material are made up of grasses and grass-like monocots, such as Xyris elliottii. Other plant species used in making the nests include wiregrass and bluestems.[9]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

The primary threats to Xyris elliottii is mainly mismanagement of the habitat where it thrives. Mismanagement practices include fire suppression, conversion to agriculture, monoculture plantations (such as Pinus elliottii), highway development, and urban sprawl. If this species were to become threatened or endangered, practicing ideal land management by protecting its habitat would help conserve the species.[10]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: November 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, W.W. Baker, Edwin L. Bridges, Paul M. Cassen, A.H. Curtiss, Angus Gholson Jr., Robert K. Godfrey, Ann F. Johnson, Ed Keppner, Lisa Keppner, Mabel Kral, Robert Kral, O. Lakela, S.W. Leonard, William Lindsey, K. MacClendon, T. MacClendon, Sidney McDaniel, Gil Nelson, Steve Orzell, P.L. Redfearn Jr. , Grady W. Reinert, Jean W. Wooten. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Escambia, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Marion, Martin, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, St. Lucie, St. Johns, Sumter, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, Washington. Countries: Belize.Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  3. Hilmon, J.B. (1964). “Plants of the Caloosa Experimental Range.” U.S. Forest Service Research Paper S E – 12.
  4. Lewis, C.E. (1970). Responses to Chopping and Rock Phosphate on South Florida Ranges. Journal of Range Management 23(4):276-282.
  5. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  6. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 19 MAY 2021
  7. Carr, Susan C., Kevin M. Robertson, and Robert K. Peet (2010). “A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida.” Castanea 75(2):153-189.
  8. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  9. Delany, Michael F. and Stephen B. Linda (1998). “Characteristics of Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Nests.” The Wilson Bulletin Vol. 110, No. 1: 136-139.
  10. [[1]]IUCN Red List. Accessed: March 15, 2016.