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OLSYNIUM douglasii

Image of Olsynium douglasii

Lane Greer

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

OLSYNIUM douglasii

Plant Common Name

Douglas Blue-eyed-grass

General Description

This tough native bulb has elegant rich purple flowers rarely seen in the western terrains it inhabits. A member of the iris family, Douglas blue-eyed-grass is the only North American species in the genus. It exists in grasslands throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia and prefers the sloping ground of coastal and foothill areas above rivers where conditions are wet in spring but dry by summer.

The tidy plant has upright clumps of fine textured linear leaves that appear grassy--quite similar to that of common blue-eyed-grass (Sisyrinchium). In the spring upright stems appear topped with one to four nodding bell-shaped blossoms in shades of purple and pink. As the blooms age they open wide to reveal the bright golden stamens. The plants are borne from small bulbs, which can be easily dug and divided.

Grow in well-drained soil and full to partial sun. Plants thrive in inland northwestern gardens. The exquisite blossoms offer bright color to small scale jewel box planting compositions and are perfect for small naturalistic urban meadows composed of diminutive grasses and perennials.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    3"-4" / 7.6cm - 10.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Northwestern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No