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Olsynium douglasii (Douglas' grasswidow)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Olsynium douglasii

Olsynium douglasii (A. Dietr.) E.P. Bicknell

Douglas' Grasswidow, Grass Widow, Satin Flower

Iridaceae (Iris Family)



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

Few reddish-lavender or purple, bowl-shaped flowers atop stems rising from clumps of narrow, sword-like leaves.

Once considered a member of the genus Sisyrinchium, Grass Widow, with its inflated stamen base, is now placed in the closely related genus Olsynium. There is only one species in the West, with two varieties. The variety inflatum, from mostly east of the Cascade Range, has a distinctly flared stamen base. The variety douglasii has an indistinctly flared stamen base; it occurs mostly west of the Cascade Range, from British Columbia south to northern California.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Reddish-lavender to purple, occasionally pink or white.


USA: CA , ID , NV , OR , UT , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: Southern British Columbia south to northern Oregon and east to central Idaho, northern Nevada, and northern Utah.
Native Habitat: Grassy areas in sagebrush and open woods.

National Wetland Indicator Status

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.


Bibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-09-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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