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Eriocaulon aquaticum

Eriocaulon aquaticum (Hill) Druce

Eriocaulon pellucidum Michx.

Eriocaulon septangulare With.

Common Pipewort, Seven-angle Pipewort

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderEriocaulalesPipeworts
FamilyEriocaulaceaePipeworts
GenusEriocaulonFrom the Greek, ’erion, “wool”, and kaulos, “plant stem”
SpeciesaquaticumFrom the Latin, aquaticus, “living, growing, or found in or by the water; aquatic”

About plant names...

These tiny plants are North American natives found at the perimeter of bogs and ponds, and in water up to about several feet deep.

Plants: These plants are easy to miss, sporting tiny flowers and nearly invisible leaves. They are up to ¾-39" (2-100 cm) in height (even up to 9' (2.7 m) according to some accounts), but that is a bit misleading. The ones I found were about 3" (7.6 cm) high, in mud exposed by drought. But underwater, the thin tubular stems extend to reach the surface. The stems are dark brown, twisted, leafless, with 5-7 ridges (hence the common name seven-angle pipewort).

Leaves: The leaves resemble a small tuft of grass, with thin, nearly translucent blades emerging from a basal rosette. They are ⅜-4" (1-10 cm) long, up to 16" (40 cm) when submersed, and ¹/₁₆-⅛" (1.6-3.2 mm) wide.

Flowers: The flowers are tiny whitish balls, ⅛-³/₁₆" (4-6 mm) around, comprised of many diminutive flowers. They are soft and easy to squeeze flat. They look grayish because the flowers are actually gray in color, but dense white hairs mostly obscure the flowers. In the water, the flowers poke just above the surface, the only portion visible.

Online References:

Eriocaulon aquaticum on www.minnesotawildflowers.info

Eriocaulon aquaticum on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Eriocaulon aquaticum on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods

Eriocaulon aquaticum on eFloras

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 376

Eriocaulon aquaticum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 21 Oct 2016.

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Eriocaulon aquaticum (Common Pipewort, Seven-angle Pipewort)

10/16/2016 · Guilder Pond, Mount Everett, Mt. Washington, MA
≈ 7 × 5" (17 × 13 cm)

Eriocaulon aquaticum (Common Pipewort, Seven-angle Pipewort)

10/16/2016 · Guilder Pond, Mount Everett, Mt. Washington, MA
≈ 1¾ × 1¾" (4.6 × 4.8 cm)

Eriocaulon aquaticum (Common Pipewort, Seven-angle Pipewort)

10/16/2016 · Guilder Pond, Mount Everett, Mt. Washington, MA
≈ 10 × 6" (24 × 16 cm)

Range:

About this map...