Slender Yellow-Eyed Grass

Slender_Yellow-eyed_Grass_jpgIn ancient times and continuing to today grasses, have stood between mankind and starvation.  For thousands of years grasses have provided food we eat (wheat, rice, corn, sugar cane, and more) and food for our domestic livestock.  In earlier times grasses were used to make thatched roofs, mats for floors, bedding, and kitchen utensils.  Indeed, some made an entire house of a grass species–bamboo–including water-piping, ladders and furniture. In early man’s culture, selected grasses were used as writing tools and reeds provided flutes and similar musical instruments.  Dyed grasses played an ornamental role as part of costumes worn for ceremonial occasions.  Incense was made from grasses. Children made toy boats, dolls, and other toys with plants in this family.  A good whistle can be made by placing a blade of grass between the thumbs and blowing across it. On the darker side, early man made war using grasses for shafts of arrows, spears, and darts.  Swords and knives could be fashioned from bamboo.  Grain that has molded or have a fungus can be toxic



Xyris torta


Freshwater Wetlands






8 to 20 inches


Late July to October


Throughout costal plain in New Jersey


July to late August


Leaves shallowly set , linear, ascending, twisted, longitudinally grooved, lustrous dark green, fleshy, pale to purplish, some outer leaves short and with notable dilated and dark base—plant appears bulbous ~ Stalk somewhat flattened under the spike ~ Spike many flowers, oval small tuft of reddish-brown hairs