Blue-Eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Blue-Eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Benefits: Pollinator Benefit Graphic
Sun Shade: Plant Light Requirements Graphic
Bloom Time: Late spring/Early Summer
Hardiness Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Soil Conditions: Loam
Soil Moisture: Medium
Color: Blue
Fragrance: No
Height: 6-12 inches
Spacing: 6-12 inches

Blue-Eyed GrassSisyrinchium angustifolium, is noted for its violet-blue flowers and branched flowering stems. Though its foliage is grass-like, the Blue-Eyed Grasses belong to the Iris family not the grass family. It occurs in damp open woods, slopes and along stream banks. It is a clump-forming perennial that features a tuft of narrow grass-like leaves typically growing to 12 inches tall. Clusters of violet-blue flowers each with 6 pointed tepals and a yellow eye, appear in spring on stalks growing from leaf-like bracts atop usually branched flowering stems which are distinctively flattened.

The blooming period occurs during late spring or early summer, and lasts about a month. The globoid 3-celled seed capsules split into 3 sections, releasing small black seeds; these can be carried a short distance by gusts of wind. The root system is coarsely fibrous, and can form new offshoots.

Habitats include moist to mesic black soil prairies, but it is more common in habitats with woody vegetation. These habitats include floodplain forests, thickets, woodland borders and openings, moist oak savannas, and the slopes of rivers. This plant usually occurs in grassy areas, as broad-leaved forbs tend to crowd it out.

Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers consistently moist soils that do not dry out, but drainage must be good. Plantings may be sheared back after bloom to avoid any unwanted self-seeding and/or to tidy foliage for remaining part of the growing season.
 Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Good selection for rock gardens.
  Will freely self-seed in optimum growing conditions.
  Plants may need to be divided every 2-3 years to keep plantings vigorous.
 Further Information

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