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Flattened Pipewort Eriocaulon compressum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
er-ee-oh-KAW-lon kom-PRESS-um
Description

This is a tall wildflower with a single rounded button like flower head at the top of its stalk which is leafless. It grows in NC and all Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern, and Mid-South states and is found along roadsides, in pinelands and near ponds. The flower stalk, ranging from 1 to 3 feet tall, rises from a cluster of usually submerged, sheathed, linear, basal leaves. It grows in damp soil or shallow water. The dried heads remain white and can be used in flower arrangements. It needs a wet or damp area in which to thrive and does well along pond margins or indoors as a terrarium plant.

The origin of the names comes from the Greek word "erio" meaning "wool" and "caul(o)" meaning "a stem" which references the woolly hairs found at the base of the flowering scape.  The species compressum means "flattened sideways" and is likely in references to the flower heads which can be flattened when pressed.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#flower arrangements#wet sites#dried flowers#pond margins#NC native#terrarium#swamps#ponds#small flowers#grass like#wildflower garden#late spring flowers#early spring flowers#mid-spring flowers#late winter flowers#roadside#wet soil intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#flower arrangements#wet sites#dried flowers#pond margins#NC native#terrarium#swamps#ponds#small flowers#grass like#wildflower garden#late spring flowers#early spring flowers#mid-spring flowers#late winter flowers#roadside#wet soil intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eriocaulon
    Species:
    compressum
    Family:
    Eriocaulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    New Jersey to Texas
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Description:
    The compact cottony white head is composed of many small flowers on top of a slender stem; dried heads with stems can be used in flower arrangements. It blooms from late winter to spring.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The grass like leaves are linear with parallel veins 2"-12" long with a pointed apex. The leaves are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant and are sharply pointed and grasslike.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Woolly hairs at the base of the flowering scape.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Riparian
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil