Pipeworts are common and easily confused with bog button (Lachnocaulon) and hatpins (Syngonanthus). They all grow small whitish globes on the tops of stems. The pipeworts require wet conditions. There are six species of Eriocaulon in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Pipeworts are distributed through much of the U.S. and Canada (Kartesz, 1999).
Pipeworts are pipeworts. Roots white; stems tufted, 8 in. to 3 1/2 ft. tall; leaf blades linear, arranged in basal spiral, 2-26 in. long, visible air spaces; inflorescences showy, compact, flattened heads, at tips of tall stems, relatively large, to 3/4 in. across, dull white to silvery to gray and green; flowers many, compacted into globular head.
E. compressum, with a soft, compressible head, may be the showiest of all hatpins in the southeastern U.S.
E. decangulare, with a hard, firm head, is very conspicuous in midsummer and fall.
View the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.