Small, single-celled planktonic cyanobacteria are ubiquitous in the world's oceans yet tend not to be perceived as secondary metabolite-rich organisms. Here we report the isolation and structure elucidation of hierridin C, a minor metabolite obtained from the cultured picocyanobacterium Cyanobium sp. LEGE 06113. We describe a simple, straightforward synthetic route to the scarcely produced hierridins that relies on a key regioselective halogenation step. In addition, we show that these compounds originate from a type III PKS pathway and that similar biosynthetic gene clusters are found in a variety of bacterial genomes, most notably those of the globally distributed picocyanobacteria genera Prochlorococcus, Cyanobium and Synechococcus.