Keyword Search | A-Z Search | Filtered Search

 Xyris montana    Ries

Montane Yellow-eyed Grass 


MN Status:

special concern
Federal Status:
none
CITES:
none
USFS:
none


Group:

vascular plant
Class:
Monocotyledoneae
Order:
Commelinales
Family:
Xyridaceae
Life Form:
forb
Longevity:
perennial
Leaf Duration:
deciduous
Water Regime:
wetland
Soils:
peat
Light:
full sun
Habitats:

(Mouse over a habitat for definition)


Best time to see:

  Foliage   Flower   Fruit  
Jan spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Feb spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Mar spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Apr spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
May spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Jun spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Jul spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Aug spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Sep spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Oct spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Nov spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
Dec spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer

Xyris montana Xyris montana Xyris montana Xyris montana Xyris montana Xyris montana Xyris montana Xyris montana

Click to enlarge


Map Interpretation

Map Interpretation

  Basis for Listing

Xyris montana is endemic to North America primarily occurring as an Atlantic Coastal Plain species with local distributions occurring westerly to northwestern Minnesota. Since first documented in the state in 1970 from a boggy lake habitat in St. Louis County, this species has been recorded from Beltrami, Koochiching, Itasca, Lake, and Cook counties. Approximately 65% of the known occurrences are from central Lake County. Although difficult to determine what actually constitutes individual populations, it is estimated that 3-4 dozen populations have now been documented in the state. However, most of these populations have not been revisited since their initial observations. Xyris montana was listed as a special concern species in Minnesota in 1984.

  Description

Xyris montana is a cespitose (growing in tufts) perennial that is 5-30 cm (2.0-11.8 in.) tall. The leaves are mostly basal, long and linear (<2 mm (0.008 in.) wide), and the flowers are borne in a single, compact head atop a long scape. The lateral sepals are straight with a scarious keel that is either entire or finely toothed at the apex. The petals are yellow and apparently open in the morning (Kral 2000).

Two species of Xyris are known to occur in the state, but their distributions are not known to overlap. Xyris montana occurs in the northern portions while X. torta (twisted yellow-eyed grass) occurs in the Anoka Sand Plains region of east-central Minnesota. Xyris torta, which is an endangered species, has a distinctive bulbous base and strongly curved lateral sepals that are ciliate or pubescent along their upper halves.

  Habitat

Xyris montana primarily occurs in sunny, acidic, peaty habitats. These include the Sphagnum spp. (sphagnum moss) shores and mats of bog lakes and bog ponds; boggy pools, puddles and depressions in fens (typically near water bodies); and water tracks of larger peatland complexes. Most of the known occurrences for this species in Minnesota are from smaller and often isolated (from each other) boggy ponds and fens. Associated plant species include Lycopodiella inundata (bog clubmoss), Scheuchzeria palustris (Scheuchzeria), Rhynchospora alba (white beak rush), and R. fusca (sooty-colored beak rush).

Across its range, X. montana is known to occur in sphagnum mats, sandy-mucky shores, boggy places, sphagnum bogs, poor fens, acid seeps, shores of glacial lakes, streams, muskegs, and floating bog mats (Voss 1972; Kral 2000).

  Biology / Life History

Xyris montana is a perennial herb. It apparently has no nectaries and is either pollinated by wind or by pollen feeding insects such as bees and flies (Kral 2000). The species reproduces by seed.

Xyris montana flowers between mid-July and mid-August. The plants may appear subtly as a few, local plants or as a brilliant golden-yellow band of blossoms rimming the floating mats and shores of bog ponds or within the graminoid lawn or fens. The latter may resemble some Utricularia spp. (bladderwort) blooms. Once familiar with the species, the dried, remnant flower stalks are recognizable later in the season.

  Conservation / Management

Other than becoming a little more successful in determining where this species may occur and estimating its abundance, populations are not currently being further assessed. Well-designed monitoring efforts are necessary in order to better understand species ecology and how populations are responding to management activities and a changing environment. The potential threats to X. montana include outright destruction of habitat and physical, chemical, or hydrological alterations of habitat conditions. Many populations are in boggy areas where people typically do not recreate. However, these saturated, peaty substrates are readily disturbed and mucked up when visited, which is a concern. Bog lakes are also often managed as brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) fisheries or used for bait leech harvesting. This can alter the existing aquatic ecosystem and result in recreational impacts to sensitive habitats near landings and fishable shorelines and pond edge habitats where X. montana often occurs.

  Conservation Efforts in Minnesota

While most populations of X. montana occur on state and federal land, less than 20% of them occur in areas formally protected and designated as Scientific and Natural Areas or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

  References

Crow, G. E., and C. B. Hellquist. 2000. Aquatic and wetland plants of northeastern North America. Volume 2. Angiosperms: Monocotyledons. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin. 400 pp.

Kral, R. 2000. Xyris. Pages 155-167 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, editors. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Volume 22. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.

Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 55 and the University of Michigan Herbarium. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 488 pp.