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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Xyris \Xy"ris\, n. [L., a kind of Iris, Gr. ?, fr. ? a razor.] (Bot.) A genus of endogenous herbs with grassy leaves and small yellow flowers in short, scaly-bracted spikes; yellow-eyed grass. There are about seventeen species in the Atlantic United States.


n. (context botany English) Any member of the plant genus ''Xyris''.


Xyris, the yelloweyed grasses, is a genus of flowering plants in the Yellow-eyed-grass family. The genus counts over two hundred fifty species, widespread over much of the world, with the center of distribution in the Guianas.

The leaves are mostly distichous, linear, flat and thin or round with a conspicuous sheath at the base. They are arranged in a basal aggregation. The small, yellow flowers are dioecious, borne on a spherical or cylindrical spike or head ( inflorescence). Each flower grows from the axil of a leathery bract. The fruit is a non-fleshy, dehiscent capsule. In Xyris complanata a single flower bud on the spike appears in the morning, and expands into a conspicuous flower during the afternoon hours.

The APG II system, of 2003, places the genus in family Xyridaceae, into the order Poales in the clade commelinids, in the monocots.

Species include: