Sisyrinchium bellum S. Watson
Western Blue-eyed Grass, California Blue-eyed-grass
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
Synonym(s): Sisyrinchium eastwoodiae, Sisyrinchium greenei, Sisyrinchium hesperium
USDA Symbol: SIBE
This blue-eyed grass species is a variable perennial, 3-18 in. tall, with umbels of starry, blue, violet or white flowers depending on the form. Individual flowers last only one day but are produced in great quantities. Foliage may be evergreen depending on moisture and temperature. Leaves are narrow and sword-shaped, occuring in fan-like sprays from creeping rhizomes which enlarge the colony each year.
Blue-eyed grass becomes very drought tolerant when established and may self-sow.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow , Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Pale blue to dark bluish violet, rarely purplish or white, centers yellow.
DistributionUSA: CA , OR
Native Distribution: Baja California north to CA w. of the Cascades to Vancouver Island, B.C.
Native Habitat: Variable, but mostly open, grassy places below 3000 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Various soils.
Conditions Comments: Blue-eyed grass will become very drought tolerant when established and may self-sow. While flowering, the species benefits from temporarily moist soil, but the soil should be dry in summer.
PropagationDescription: Easily grown from seeds sown in fall or from root divisions. Divide the clumps early in the spring just as the grass-like foliage is appearing. Plants from seed will flower the second year.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Sisyrinchium bellum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sisyrinchium bellum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sisyrinchium bellum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff