Xyris torta is a perennial monocotyledon herb to 80 cm in flower.
Leaves alternate, grass-like, gray-green, basal, linear, 20-50 cm long, 0.2-0.5 cm wide, twisted, base thickened, 0.4-1 cm, hard, fleshy, brown or purplish, outer leaves often short, with dilated base, making plant appear bulbous.
Flowers yellow, 3-parted, petals 0.4 cm long;, sepals 3, one larger, two with a hairy ridge down back, unopened flowers enclosed in a small overlapping brown bract; flower stem 15-80 cm tall, twisted, ridged; inflorescence of rounded, bract-covered heads 1-2.5 cm with many flowers; blooms July-Sept.
Wetland status: OBL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Wet, acid soil.