Sisyrinchium montanum Greene
Strict Blue-eyed Grass, Mountain Blue-eyed Grass, Common Blue-eyed Grass
Iridaceae (Iris Family)
USDA Symbol: SIMO2
A grass-like plant, forming small clumps. Leaves are mostly basal, linear and bright green. Six-petaled, violet-blue, star-like flowers are solitary or in small clusters at the tip of long flowering stalks. Plants grow 6-20 in. tall.
A member of the iris family (family Iridaceae) which consists of herbs growing from rhizomes, bulbs, or corms, with narrow basal leaves and showy clusters at the tips of long stalks. There are about 60 genera and 1,500 species, distributed in temperate and tropical regions. Among them, Iris, Freesia, Gladiolus, Bugle Lily, and Montbretia are popular ornamentals. Saffron dye is obtained from Crocus, and "essence of violets," used in perfumes, is extracted from the rhizomes of Iris.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Bluish violet with yellow bases.
DistributionUSA: CO , CT , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MA , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , TX , UT , VT , WI , WY
Canada: AB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Que. to B.C., s. to NJ, n. IN, IA, KS & CO
Native Habitat: Moist, sandy meadows & open woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Grows readily from seed. Blue-eyed grass is not really a grass. It is an unusual member of the iris family because it is native to prairie grasslands, whereas most iris prefer wet lands.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Small perennials & grasses for a naturalized lawn
October 26, 2009
I am looking for native perennials and grasses that will grow no more than 8 inches tall that can be used in a naturalized lawn in Michigan. What 5 plants would be your first choice?
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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 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
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 montanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sisyrinchium montanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sisyrinchium montanum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff