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Origin and Habitat: Eastern and Midwestern United States (Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Maine, Florida, Texas) and Canada (Manitoba)
Habitat: It more or less common in open woods, prairies, hill prairies, edges of bluffs, savannas, fens, sandstone glades, abandoned fields, and lawns. along shaded roadsides or in moist or dry meadows and occasionally open deciduous woods; often in soils with high lime content.
Hypoxis hirsuta Coville
Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 5: 118. 1894
- Hypoxis hirsuta Coville
- Hypoxis carolinensis Michaux
- Hypoxis erecta L.
- Hypoxis graminea Pursh
- Hypoxis grandis Pollard in Small
- Hypoxis hirsuta f. villosissima Fernald
- Hypoxis micrantha Pollard
- Hypoxis pallida Salisb.
- Hypoxis pilosa Raf.
ENGLISH: Eastern Yellow Stargrass, Common Star-grass, Common Goldstar, Goldstar Grass, Colicroot, Yellow Star Grass
Description: It is a hairy, grasslike perennial herb up to 40(-60) cm high when fully grown, but usually less than 30 cm tall.
Leaves: Narrow linear, firm, fragile, pointing upward, resembling those of grass, basal or nearly so, linear, to 8-12 mm wide from a short root-stock, taller than the flowering stalk when mature .
Roots: he root system consists of a small corm.
Flowers: Six-parted starlike, bright yellow, and hairy outside, showy, up to 1 8 mm wide, subtended by two to several linear or pointed bracts. The flowers grow in clusters of two or more on an irregular umbel-like inflorescence on slender pubescent stalks from 5 to 30 cm long, usually shorter than leaves, . Each flower has six stamens, and the 6 bright yellow "petals" actually consist of 3 sepals and 3 petals. Sometimes there is a mild floral fragrance.
Blooming season: It has a long blooming season from April to June, occasionally later and often bloom when the plant is only a few cm high. Usually only one or two flowers open at a time.
Fruit and seeds: Capsule, small, oval, somewhat hairy; Each seed capsule splits open irregularly, releasing several glossy black seeds that are covered with concentric rows of minute wart-like projections.
Fruiting season: August - October.
Remarks: In nature Hypoxis hirsuta it is a tidy little ground cover as forms large clumps because it is usually surrounded by its offspring, as most of the seed falls close by.
Cultivation and Propagation: Requires full or partial sun, moist to slightly dry conditions, and soil containing loam, sand, or rocky material. This wildflower is not usually bothered by foliar disease during the period of active growth during the spring.
Uses: Native Americans used a tea made from stargrass as a heart medicine. Preparations made from the bulb-like root have been used to treat ulcers. It is also a remedy for colic, whence its common name, colicroot.
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