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Sisyrinchium bellum (Western blue-eyed grass)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Sisyrinchium bellum

Sisyrinchium bellum S. Watson

Western Blue-eyed Grass, California Blue-eyed-grass

Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Synonym(s): Sisyrinchium eastwoodiae, Sisyrinchium greenei, Sisyrinchium hesperium


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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

10 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom 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.


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 Conditions

Light 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.


Description: 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

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 Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

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Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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