Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Backyard Nature Wednesday: Blue-eyed grass

Out by the goldfish pond, the blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum) has been in bloom for a while. This plant is a California native, a clump-forming perennial in the iris family. The plant, indeed, looks like a small iris. The grass-like leaf blades grow from 6 to 12 inches tall and stand erect like iris leaves. 


The bright blue flowers are carried on a tall branching stalk that bears clusters of bloom all along its length.

These pretty and delicate blossoms are quite long lasting. When they fade, a seed pod containing abundant seed develops and eventually breaks and scatters the seeds around the area. Thus, the plant can pretty easily spread.

 
Blue-eyed grass grows well in sun or part shade - mine is in part shade - and it is said to be tolerant of most types of soil as long as it has good drainage. It is also tolerant of wet or dry conditions. It does not require irrigation and so is drought-tolerant, but if planted in a wetter area, it will adapt and do well there, also. It will survive cold down to around 0 degrees F., and there are reports of it surviving in even colder conditions.

Are you getting the idea that this is a very versatile plant? You are correct! It is a very nice plant to grow with grasses, sedges, poppies and lupines, and meadows of native plants. I've certainly enjoyed having the lovely little blooms in my garden.

6 comments:

  1. It seems like a sturdy plant. I like sturdy plants. I like irises but they are so fragile.

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    1. I don't have much luck with most members of the iris family. This one is an exception.

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  2. I never knew it was a member of the iris family! It grew wild on the land I owned years ago in Arkansas, and grows wild here (upstate New York), in places. Want luck with irises? Move here.

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    1. Yes, I think irises in general appreciate some of the colder weather that we just don't get here and that's why they don't do well for me. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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  3. My little white iris type things are blooming more than ever right now. So cheerful. I will have to look for these blue ones.

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    1. And my butterfly irises that bloomed for the first time this year are blooming again. Dare I hope that I've finally turned a corner with growing iris?

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