Lachnocaulon species

Common Name(s): Bog buttons

Native to Florida

Video ID segment (2-3 minutes / transcript below)

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Because of their many white-to-gray button-like heads, the smallish bog buttons are easily discovered when searching for them along wet roadsides. They might be confused with Eriocaulon or Syngonanthus. There are five species of Lachnocaulon in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Bogbuttons are located throughout the southern and southwestern parts of the US (Kartesz, 1999).

Bog buttons are emersed plants. Roots dark, thin, branched; stems tuft-forming, hairy, to 16 in. tall; leaf blades grass-like, at stem base, arranged in spiral clusters, narrow, tapering, to 2 in. long, much shorter than flower stalks; inflorescences button-like heads, white to gray, at the tips of long stems, comprised of many tiny, densely-clustered whitish-to-grayish flowers.

Video Transcript

Bog buttons – Lachnocaulon species
Five species of bog buttons are native to Florida. These small perennial herbs grow in wet pine flatwoods, savannas, pond and lake margins, and other areas of frequent flooding. They occur throughout Florida. Bog buttons are easiest to recognize by their inflorescences, which are grayish, round, button-like heads on the tops of tall stalks. These heads are made of many tiny, densely clustered, grayish flowers. The flower stalks are leafless and hairy. Bog button leaves are grass-like, narrow, and tapering; and are 1 to 2 inches long. The leaves are much shorter than the flower stalks. The leaves are arranged in dense spiral clusters. Bog buttons can be confused with other common bog plants: the hat-pins (eriocaulon species). Both plants have conspicuous white flower heads on stalks. The easiest way to distinguish between the two is by looking at the stems. The stems of bog buttons are obviously hairy. The stems of hat-pins are smooth. Bog buttons have tall stems with button-like, whitish flower heads. The flower stalks are very hairy. The relatively short leaves are narrow, tapering, and grass-like.