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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 star-shaped flowers a few inches above the leaves. Several delicate, blue or 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow , Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Pale blue to violet, occasionally white, bases yellow.
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse 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
PropagationPropagation 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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City - Jefferson City, TN
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1022 Collected Apr 24, 1995 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
BibliographyBibref 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
Bibref 1294 - 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
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
Research LiteratureReslit 897 - Sisyrinchium angustifolium P. Mill. (2011) K. M. Mattson
Reslit 1249 - Propagation protocol for production of container Sisyrinchium angustifolium Miller plants; USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest, Marquette Michigan (2001) J. Schultz, P. Beyer and J. Williams
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Sisyrinchium angustifolium in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sisyrinchium angustifolium in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sisyrinchium angustifolium
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-27
Research By: TWC Staff