Yellow Hatpins


This week’s article is about a wetland species that is categorized in the Eriocaulonaceae, (Pipewort) family. The species is the Yellow Hatpins.

Syngonanthus  flavidulus. Like other Pipeworts, flavidulus is a monocot plant.  A herbaceous perennial that usually has several erect stems growing out of a dense grass-like basal rosette. Leaves are up to 12 inches in length. Stems are pubescent and leafless. There are 3 to 5 twisted ridges along the stems. Length of stems are about a foot in height.

Tiny flowerheads are terminal on the stems. At the base of the flowerhead is a yellow bract receptacle. Flowerheads are monoecious. That is male and female unisexual flowers are on the same plant. Male flowers have 3 sepals in a calyx and 3 pale yellow fused petals forming a funnel about 2mm long. Stamens are 3 that extend just above the funnel’s rim. Female flowers have 3 sepals in a calyx and 3 yellowish petals also fused into a funnel with 3 styles just at the rim. A hand lens is needed to see flowers. Fruit is a small capsule. Blooming occurs in spring and summer.

Distribution is in almost every county in the State. Habitats are wet flatwoods, wet prairies and pond margins. The specimen in the picture as found in a wet prairie.