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Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass)
Vick, Albert F. W.

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Sisyrinchium angustifolium Mill.

Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass, Narrow-leaf blue-eyed-grass, Bermuda blue-eyed grass, Blue-eyed grass

Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Synonym(s): Sisyrinchium bermudiana, Sisyrinchium graminoides

USDA Symbol: sian3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The numerous, narrow, light-green leaves of this perennial form dense, tufted clumps which steadily grow with new foliage during the season. The flattened, leaf-like flowering stems may be up to 18 in. long and bear light-blue, star-shaped flowers a few inches above the leaves. Height is 1-1 1/2 ft. Several delicate, blue or deep blue-violet flowers with yellow centers in 2 broad bracts top a flat stem, generally only 1 flower at a time in bloom; stems taller than the clusters of narrow, sword-shaped leaves near base.

Although the plant is small and has grass-like leaves, the flowers have all the features of the Iris family. The various species are all much alike and separation is based on such characteristics as branching pattern and leaf length. Common Blue-eyed Grass (S. montanum) is also a widespread species, with slightly wider leaves, over 1/4 (6 mm), and unbranched stalks.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-1.5 feet.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: BC , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Nf. to Man. & Platte Co., WY, s. to FL & TX
Native Habitat: Meadows; damp fields; low, open woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, poor to average soils
Conditions Comments: This short-lived perennial will decline if allowed to dry out. Heavy mulch causes crown rot and rich, organic soils encourage rank, vegetative growth. Plants need to be divided at least every other year.

Benefit

Use Medicinal: Amerindians used root tea for diarrhea (in children); plant tea for worms, stomachaches. Several species used as laxatives. (Foster & Duke)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: No

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed or division. Several dozen divisions can be expected from a mature, healthy specimen.
Seed Collection: Collect seed capsule when they have darkened to brown and become wrinkled.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native ground cover to replace grass in Florida.
February 04, 2008
Where can I find a list of ground covers to replace my grass. I live in the south of Ocala Florida.
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW FACW FACW FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 1022 Collected Apr 24, 1995 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 417 - Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America (2000) Foster, S. & J. A. Duke
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sisyrinchium angustifolium in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sisyrinchium angustifolium in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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