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SISYRINCHIUM montanum

Image of Sisyrinchium montanum

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

SISYRINCHIUM montanum

Plant Common Name

Alpine Blue-eyed Grass

General Description

Though it resembles a grass with its clump of strappy leaves, alpine blue-eyed grass is actually related to irises, a link visible in its flowers. An unassuming herbaceous perennial, it is native to the cool-summer meadows and moist soils of northern North America from the Canadian and American Rocky Mountains eastward to the Great Lakes and Newfoundland.

The strap-like, thin leaves are green and rather short, held in a small cluster. In midsummer, slightly taller stems reach above the leaves and reveal a six-petaled blue-violet flower with a bright yellow central "eye". Attracting insects for pollination, this perennial will self-seed itself.

Grow alpine blue-eyed grass in full sun to partial shade and moist to soggy soil. The ground should be rich in organic matter or quite wet. Use it in a low, wet pocket in a rockery or open woodland or meadow setting. It could be casually seeded into a large alpine trough for added summer interest.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    1 - 5

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-12" / 10.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    6"-14" / 15.2cm - 35.6cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, North-Central United States, Western United States, Northwestern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Blue Violet

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • 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, Bog Garden, Container, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes