Index- plants in this Family
Iridaceae / Iris
Yellow Star Grass (Hypoxis hirsuta)
Yellow Star Grass is also known as Common Goldstar which is the official vernacular.

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial.
Leaves: This plant has basal leaves only. Leaves can reach 60cm in length (24inches). Leaves can be as wide as 1 cm (0.4inches). The leaves are usually much shorter. Each leaf is entire and bears soft straight hairs (pilose). The main leaves with five to nine main veins.
Flowers: The flowers have 6 Regular Parts. They are yellow. Blooms first appear in mid spring and continue into mid fall. There can be from two to nine flowers, commonly there are three. The flowers are usually much below the height of the leaves.
Fruit: An indehiscent pod containing several shinny black seeds.
Habitat: Fields and glades and open woods.
Range: All of eastern and Midwestern U. S.

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

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One species or another of Yellow Star Grass can be found throughout our area.

Similar Species: Wright's Star-Grass (Hypoxis wrightii) AKA (Hypoxis micrantha) has shorter leaves only to 3mm (0.1") wide with three main veins and usually only one or two flowers. Found mainly on the coastal plain in well drained (sandy) woods from Virginia to Texas.
Curtis' Star-Grass (Hypoxis curtissii) AKA (Hypoxis leptocarpa) is found mainly on the coastal plain in alluvial soil or wooded swamps. The leaves are mostly smooth with some pubescence at the base and from 3-12mm (0.1- 0.4") wide.
Fringed Yellow Star-Grass (Hypoxis juncea) has very narrow leaves usually 1mm or less wide. There are usually only two flowers. It is found in dryer open areas of the southern coastal plain. Not common.
Stiff Star-Grass (Hypoxis rigida) is rare. It is similar to Wright's Star-Grass (Hypoxis wrightii) perhaps with stiffer leaves with the sheaths of the leaves having stiff bristles. It blooms in mid spring in dry open areas of the coastal plain.
Glossyseed Yellow Star-Grass (Hypoxis sessilis) is similar to Wright's Star-Grass (Hypoxis wrightii) but having usually only one or sometimes two flowers on each 0.5 to 3cm long peduncle. It is found in sandy soil of the coastal plain from Virginia to Texas

See the links below this image for other images. (1)
© Darel Hess   E-mail      Image use policy

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Yellow Star Grass (Hypoxis hirsuta) Close view of flower.  © Darel Hess

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Monocots / One Seed Leaf


Star- Grass

Welcome / Glossary / Books / Links / Feedback / Image use policy - Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States, Page updated on 5/25/2001 7:12:18 AM.