Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blue Eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium
A small genus of perennials that are related to the Iris's.
The leaves are grassy and narrow and the flowers are star-shaped.
Most species prefer full sun on moist, well drained soil.
Propagation is from division during autumn / early spring and seed.

* photo taken by USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Sisyrinchium angustifolium ( Blue Eyed Grass )
A clumping, semi-evergreen perennial, reaching a maximum size of 2 x 1 foot, that is native to moist prairies and open woods in the eastern U.S. ( from far southeast Manitoba and Minnesota to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Wawa, Ontario to Killarney, Ontario to Ottawa, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to central Texas to south Florida ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant in the Windsor area as well as the Ohio lakeshore during the 1800s. This is a real cool and easy to grow landscape plant.
The grass-like leaves, up to 20 inches in length, are deep green.
The bright blue ( with yellow eye ) flowers, up to 0.3 inches across, are borne profusely during mid to late spring then sporadically during summer.
Every flower stalk causes the death of the leaf stem from which it grows. In years that flowering is abundant, it may flower itself to death.
The flowers are attractive to butterflies.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 ( mulch during winter zones 2 to 4 ) in full sun to partial shade on moist, alkaline to neutral, well drained soil. Plants are generally sheared back after blooming.

* photo taken by Jennifer Anderson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken on May 15 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Lucerne'
Reaches up to 16 inches x 1.5 feet, with fine textured, Iris-like foliage and bright blue ( gold centered ), starry flowers, up to 0.6 inches, borne late spring to mid summer.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.

* photo taken on May 12 2014 in Elkridge, MD


'Mrs. Spivey'
Reaches a maximum height of 2.5 feet, with white ( yellow eyed ) flowers.
Hardy zones 3 to 7

Sisyrinchium atlanticum ( Atlantic Blue-Eyed-Grass
A perennial, reaching a maximum height of 2.5 feet, that is native to eastern North America ( from southwest Missouri to northeast Wisconsin to central Michigan to central New York to Nova Scotia; south to eastern Texas to central Florida ). It is endangered in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Vermont. It is not known from Ontario but was probably a rare local native before wholesale destruction of the regions forest on the north shore of Lake Erie during the late 1800s. It is found on marshland edge and open shoreline woodland in the wild.
The leaves are narrow and the violet flowers are up to an inch across. The purplish-blue flowers are borne late spring to mid-summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on moist, sandy or gravelly, well drained soil.

* photo taken by Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA SCS. 1991. Southern wetland flora


Sisyrinchium bellum ( Western Blue-Eyed Grass )
A fast growing, rhizomatous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 2 x 2 feet, that is native to far northwest Oregon to southern California.
The grassy leaves form a clump. The blue-green leaves are up to 0.2 inches wide.
The violet-blue flowers, up to 1.2 inches wide, are borne during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on moist to wet, light, well drained soil.

* photos taken on Apr 27 2015 in Elkridge, MD


'California Skies'
A dwarf form, reaching a maximum size of just 12 x 8 inches.
The narrow lance-shaped leaves are deep green.
The light blue ( eyed darker blue ), starry flowers are borne on clusters from summer through late autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

Sisyrinchium bermudiana
A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 2 x 1 foot, that is native to eastern North America.
The leaves are up to 2 feet in length.
The blue ( with yellow eye ) flowers, up to 0.3 inches across, are borne during the summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

* photo of unknown internet source


Sisyrinchium californicum ( Golden-Eyed Grass )
Also called Sisyrinchium brachypus. A fast growing, semi-evergreen, rhizomatous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 2 x 1 feet, that is native to northwestern North America ( from Vancouver Island to Nelson, British Columbia; south to coastal central California ). It is endangered in British Columbia and Washington State.
The sword-shaped leaves, up to 6 inches in length, are gray-green.
The yellow flowers, up to 1 inch across, are borne atop sturdy stems from late spring to mid autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun on moist, alkaline to neutral, fertile, well drained soil. Flood tolerant.

Sisyrinchium 'Devon Skies'
A grassy, clumping perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6 x 14 inches, that is covered in large, bright blue flowers all summer long.
Hardy zones 7 to 8 in full sun on very well drained soil. Tolerant of heat, humidity, poor soil and drought. Deer resistant.

Sisyrinchium douglasii ( Grass-Widow )
Also called Olsynium douglasii. A herbaceous perennial, reaching a maximum size of 1 foot x 8 inches, that is native to the western North America ( from British Columbia to northeast Idaho; south to northern California to northern Utah ). It is found on prairies and open pine-oak woodland in the wild.
The linear leaves are up to 12 x 0.1 inches in size.
The nodding, purple ( darker veined ), bell-shaped flowers, up to 1.3 inches across, are borne during spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 8

Sisyrinchium idahoense ( Idaho Blue-Eyed grass )
Reaches a maximum height of 2 feet, with blue-green foliage and purplish-blue flowers, up to 0.5 inches across, borne on an erect stem. The species is native to western North America ( from far northern Vancouver Island to Fort Nelson, British Columbia to central Montana to northeast Wyoming to northeast Colorado; south to central California to northern New Mexico ).
Hardy zones 3 to 6 in full sun on fertile, alkaline to neutral, well drained soil.

'Alba'
White flowers; otherwise identical to species.

Sisyrinchium macounii ( Macoun's Blue-Eyed Grass )
Also called Sisyrinchium idahoense var. macounii. A perennial, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 6 inches, that is native to coastal British Columbia and northwestern Washington State.
The purple, cupped flowers are borne spring into summer.
hardy zones 7 to 8

'Album'
White flowers

Sisyrinchium striatum ( Yellow Eyed Grass )
A rhizomatous perennial, forming a large clump reaching a maximum size of 3 x 2 feet, that is native to Chile and Argentina. The attractive, gray-green, Iris-like, evergreen leaves are up to 18 x 1 inches.
The creamy-white, star-shaped flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne in large, upright spikes during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, alkaline to neutral, well drained soil.

'Aunt May'
Foliage is variegated creamy-yellow.

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