Xyris bicephala

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Xyris bicephala


Smooth, cespitose perennial, 25-100 cm high, stems short to elongate, encased in fans of closely imbricate, stiff, castaneous to nearly black leaf bases. Leaves 20-50 cm, blade flattened, 5-10 mm wide, margins densely white-ciliate. Scapes distally flattened, 2.5-4 mm wide, margins densely white-ciliate; spikes mostly 2, broadly ovoid to subglobose, 0.8-1.5 cm, deep brown to castaneous, bracts subdecussate, empty ones several, grading into the larger floral ones, these broadly ovate-elliptic to oblong, 5-8 mm, rounded, entire to finely lacerate, rarely red-ciliolate, ecarinate, uniform or with indistinct dorsal area. Lateral sepals free, equilateral, narrow, 5.5-6.6 mm, keel distally red-ciliolate to fimbriolate; petals obovate5.5-6 mm; staminodes bearded; anthers ca. 2 mm. Capsule 4-4.5 mm, placentation basal-axile, valves septate at base; seeds few, cylindric-fusiform, 2.5-3 mm long, including long pale apical scale.


Bolivar present, E to SE Guyana present, Gran Sabana present, Southern America: Brazil North (Roraima present)
Gran Sabana of BolivarE to SE Guyana in boggy savanna over Roraima Sandstone, 800-2400 m.


This distinctive species makes up one of the commoner elements in the bogs of the Gran Sabana of Bolivar, Venezuela, and may be more abundant in that part of Guyana on and near Mt. Roraima than present records indicate.