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Blue Eyed Grass

( Sisyrinchium montanum )


Blue Eyed Grass
Common Blue Eyed Grass
Mountain Blue Eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium montanum



Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Sand, Loam

Dry, Normal, Moist, Wet




Habitat Considerations

Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Mixedwood Plains, Boreal Plains, Prairies, Taiga Cordillera, Montane Cordillera, Hudson Plains

Woodland, Forest Edge, Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field, Riparian, Alvar

Rooftop Garden (drought tolerant/shallow rooted), Prairie/Meadow
Design Considerations

10 cm

50 cm

May - Jul







Conservation Status

Interesting Tidbits

Grows readily from seed. Blue-eyed grass is not really a grass. It is an unusual member of the iris family because it is native to prairie grasslands, whereas most iris prefer wet lands. The eye is the yellow centre of the flower. Blue-eyed grass is a morning flower - it opens its flower in the early morning, but closes at midday. (Andy Fyon) Habitat Information: Moist sandy meadows, and open woods. This plant is in the iris family, however is unusual is it tolerates dry as well as wet habitats. (Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Centre). They prefer gravelly sandy sites with some moisture, but will tolerate a variety of soils. This plant tolerates alvar and rocky beach conditions with little soil, withstands extreme weather, and is adaptable to growing in little soil, tolerating extreme drought and as well as flooding associated with alvar habitats (such as Ontario's Bruce Peninsula and Carden Alvar). (Evergreen) It often has one single flower blooming on a stalk that looks much like grass. The flower opens up in the day time like a blue petaled eye, and closes in the evening, hense its name blue eyed grass. (Evergreen) Garden Uses: These small plants do well as a rock garden plant; like little competition. (Evergreen) It likes moist to average soil with a high lime content. (Johnson, L., The new Ontario Naturalized Garden, 1999) Because this plant in its natural habitat often appears alone, in specialized habitats, it prefers less competition from other plants. In gardens it prefers to be situated in areas with smaller and less competitive plants. (Evergreen) Insect Relationships: No record was found for this species. (Evergreen) Historical Medicinal Uses: Physic was made for use by the aged. A decoction was used for fevers including malaria and scarlet fever (it was not used for typhoid). CAUTION: A mention that it may be POISONOUS. (Herrick, J., 1977)

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