Home / Anomalous_Items / Aquatic_Macrophytes / Emergent_Leaves / Eriocaulon

Click on images for larger format

Name derivation:

‘Wool stalk’:  Ancient Greek εριον, erion, meaning 'wool', and καυλός, caulos, meaning 'stalk'.


Eriocaulon Linneaus;  approximately 400 species descriptions are recognized.

Order Poales;  Family Eriocaulaceae.

Monocot;  mainly perennial.


Rooted in flooded sandy to silty soils or sediments, usually <1 m deep. Leaves are bracts on the sediment surface that radiate from the center.

Floral shoots are emergent up to 70-80 cm above the water surface, and produce a compound floral head with a mix of imperfect flowers; sometimes the males are more central and the females more peripheral on the floral head.  White petals usually have a black gland near the tip.  Wind pollinated.

Details of morphology and anatomy of E. septangulare, including excellent sketches and a photographic plate, by C. Leighton Hare (1950) found online.

Similar genera:



Globally distributed, tropics to temperate zones.  Freshwater or flooded upland soils.

Eriocaulon aquaticum (Hill) Druce is native to eastern Canada and NE USA.



Hare, C.L.  1950.  The structure and development of Eriocaulon septangulare With.  Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 53(354):422-448.