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Family: Eriocaulaceae — pipewort family

Pipeworts are perennial wetland herbs with grass-like, tapering leaves that have parallel veins and conspicuous cross-veinlets. The roots also have conspicuous cross-septa. The leafless stems (scapes) of our species are erect. Very small flowers are clustered at the tip of the scape in a spherical to hemispherical inflorescence that has spirally-arranged bracts at its base. Each inflorescence has both pollen-bearing flowers and ovule-bearing flowers. They are radially or bilaterally symmetrical, with 2- to 3 sepals and petals attached at the base of the ovary in ovule-bearing flowers. There are 2-4 stamens. Ovule-bearing flowers have 1 style and 2 or 3 stigmas. They mature as a dry, thin-walled capsule. The seeds are small and translucent.

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key