Stout Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)

Discussion in 'Perennials' started by JBtheExplorer, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,668
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Stout Blue-eyed Grass, also called Narrowleaf Blue-eyed Grass, is native to most of the eastern half of the United States.
    Sisyrinchium angustifolium.png



    Stout Blue-eyed Grass is one of my favorite species, and definitely in my top 5.
    While the name implies that it's grass, it's not. It's actually a tiny member of the Iris family.

    IMG_3259 copy.jpg


    It's one of the smallest plants I grow, but also one of the brightest. It stands out from a distance and can bloom quite heavily after a couple years. The plant gets to be around 8" tall, but can grow as tall as 12". The flowers are only about an inch in diameter.

    IMG_8823 copy.jpg

    It blooms in May and June, but will occasionally bloom into July. I've even seen it produce a few flowers in August and September.
    DSCN8095 copy1.jpg
    IMG_8690 copy.jpg


    It grows best in full sun or partly sunny situations. It can handle dry or average soil, and seems to handle drought conditions once it's well established. Well-drained soil appears to be a must, though.
    IMG_3262 copy2.jpg


    It mostly benefits tiny bees and flies. I've seen a lot of activity on these flowers on warm spring days. Some birds and mammals also eat the small seeds it produces.
    IMG_2697 copy1.jpg


    I've been trying to establish a large population of this plant, and using it like a ground cover, both in my native garden, as well as along the outside edge of my pond. I'm trying to fill in every gap with it. I want it everywhere. It's a rare plant in my state, so having an established population of it is pretty cool.
    IMG_2659 copy.jpg
    IMG_5551 copy.jpg
    IMG_8824 copy.jpg


    It can be divided every few years, and it's also easy to grow from seed. I've both grown it indoors as well as spread seed outdoors and it grows very well either way. It produces a lot of seeds. I highly recommend it if you live within its native range. If you don't live in it's range and you live in the U.S., you do live in the range of at least one of the many other species of Blue-eyed Grass.

    IMG_2682 copy.jpg
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 7, 2018
    #1
    Becky, Gemma, MaryMary and 5 others like this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. JBtheExplorer

    alp

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    8,552
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Location:
    Essex
    Stunning photos! I wish I had more land .. I have already googled the Prairie??? and the seeds are under £2 from China of all places.

    Keep up with the good work whilst we feast our eyes on your fantastic photos! Thank you for sharing..
     
    alp, Apr 7, 2018
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,668
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I wouldn't recommend it for anyone outside of its native range. That ultimately leads to problems, like habitat destruction.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 7, 2018
    #3
  4. JBtheExplorer

    Esther Knapicius

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    1,963
    Location:
    Southern Chester County, PA, USA
    don't recall it anywhere on my property.
     
    Esther Knapicius, Apr 7, 2018
    #4
  5. JBtheExplorer

    alp

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    8,552
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Location:
    Essex
    Thank heavens that I haven't placed the order. I think I'm going to buy a Cornus controversa variegata instead!
     
    alp, Apr 7, 2018
    #5
  6. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,668
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Lol. I'm confused. Isn't that also non-native to your area? :confused: That would be the same as planting Blue-eyed Grass.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 7, 2018
    #6
  7. JBtheExplorer

    alp

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    8,552
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Location:
    Essex
    I grow things that take my fancy. Most of the plants were lifted from China or some other countries. So, can't be that fussy. Camellias from China, even clematis...
     
    alp, Apr 7, 2018
    #7
  8. JBtheExplorer

    Silentrunning

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    897
    Location:
    Warrenton North Carolina
    JB, what does the dark green mean? My county is dark green and the adjacent county is light green.
     
    Silentrunning, Apr 7, 2018
    #8
  9. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,668
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I understand that you and most people (sadly) grow non-natives, it was just funny that you responded that you're glad you didn't place the order but instead was going to get something equally non-native. :ROFLMAO:
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 7, 2018
    #9
    alp likes this.
  10. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,668
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Dark green means it's native to your state but not documented in your county. Bright green means it exists in your county. If you live near bright green, you're still close enough to the native range to where it would be beneficial to plant it.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 7, 2018
    #10
    Silentrunning likes this.
  11. JBtheExplorer

    alp

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    8,552
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Location:
    Essex
    I've found that plant very intriguing, but as I wanted to move, I don't want to buy seeds as they will lose their viability over time. I will buy it once I know where I will be downsizing to.

    To tell you the truth, UK is like a small island and plants are mostly from China, and even snowdrops or tulips are from somewhere else. Things are so hybridised that they look so different these days. I know I'm confusing. If I like something, I will try and try and try .. but don't ask me about meconopsis as I will burst into tears!:cry:
     
    alp, Apr 8, 2018
    #11
  12. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,668
    Location:
    Wisconsin

    What about meconopsis?
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 8, 2018
    #12
  13. JBtheExplorer

    alp

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    8,552
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Location:
    Essex
    They never get to a decent size. And even when I bought them as seedlings, some critters had them for dinner. I have bought about 10 packets plus of seeds!:cry::cry::cry::cry:
     
    alp, Apr 8, 2018
    #13
    JBtheExplorer likes this.
  14. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,668
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I've had similar struggles with Purple Prairie Clover. The rabbits love them. I should have a large established population of them by now. Instead, I have two small plants.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 8, 2018
    #14
  15. JBtheExplorer

    alp

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Messages:
    8,552
    Likes Received:
    6,613
    Location:
    Essex
    You're lucky in the sense that you know your nemesis! All I know is some critter! LOL!
     
    alp, Apr 8, 2018
    #15
    JBtheExplorer likes this.
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.