Hypoxis hirsuta

Native wildflower with grass-like leaved and star-shaped yellow flowers

Hypoxis hirsuta yellow stargrass

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This native perennial flower is placed in the newly formed Hypoxidaceae (stargrass) family. It had previously been placed in the Amarylidaceae, or daffodil family and in the lily family. The only other members of its genus are in South Africa. The leaves are upright and grass-like and often hard to distinguish from the true grass leaves that may grow around the plant. The leaves and flower stems all grow from a small underground corm.

The six-pointed star-like flowers are very distinctive. Each flower is about ½ to 1 inch in diameter. The points of the flower are formed by 3 petals and 3 sepals that have the same color and shape. There is one central pistil. Although the open flower is bright yellow, the underside of the petals and sepals are greenish and hairy. These flowers produce no nectar but are visited by several small bee species for pollen. There is sometimes a mild floral scent. The flowers occur in loose clusters (umbels) at the top of a hairy stalk that is 3-8 inches long, slightly shorter than the leaves. The fruit is a capsule that splits open on one side to release several shiny, but bumpy black seeds.

The plant grows in both dry and moist meadows and open woodlands. It is also called by the common name common goldstar or Eastern yellow stargrass. The species has a range from Manitoba to southern Maine and southward. It has been historically documented in almost all of the counties of Western Pennsylvania except, Erie, and some of those in the Allegheny Forest area. The blooming period is from May to August.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Grows in dry, open woods, and meadows.

Present throughout the state except in the northernmost counties.

Wetland codes

Flowers May to September.

S-rank:  No rank
G-rank:  G5 (Secure)

Hypoxis hirsuta yellow stargrass

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA
Hypoxis hirsuta gallery
Plant Life-Form
perennial forb
Common Names
yellow stargrass common stargrass