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  • Writer's pictureDon Yurewicz

Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Pipewort flowers appear on long stalks (6-36 in. tall) and are button-like and white (see photo below). The leaves form a basal rosette with spiky leaves 1/8 to 1/6 inch wide and ¾ to 3¾ inches long. Leaves are often translucent with 3 to 9 parallel veins the length of the blade, and also conspicuous cross hatched veinlets, especially near the base. The blade is widest at the base and tapers out to a sharp point.

Look Alikes: This plant can easily be confused with quillwort and water lobelia when not in flower. When in flower, the key distinction is the white button-like seed head on pipewort.

This species has long been associated with good water quality.

Emergent flowers of pipewort.

Basal leaves of pipewort plants - photo by Maria Gross - Zone 7, Deans' Cove

Rootlets of a pipewort plant - notice segmentation. Photo by Maria Gross, Zone 7, Deans' Cove

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