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Sisyrinchium atlanticum

Previously known as:

  • Sistrinchium apiculatum
  • Sisyrinchium mucronatum var. atlanticum
Phonetic Spelling
sis-ee-RINK-ee-um at-LAN-tik-um
Description

Eastern Blue-eyed Grass is a perennial bulb in the iris family native to Canada and the southeastern U.S.A.  

It is typically found in open meadows, marsh edges, along the shore, and wooded areas where sunlight and moisture are abundant.  In some locations, such as the Midwest US, it has been deemed threatened or endangered.

The tiny flowers form on a short stalk, with typically 2 to 4 flowers per stalk.  They will open one at a time.  The petals are a deep blue to violet, and occasionally white.  They each are adorned with 6 tepals, consisting of 3 petals and 3 sepals that are very similar in appearance.  Each rounded at their tips with a small projection at the very tip that is needle-like.  At the base of each tepal, there will be a bright spot with a green to yellow throat with bright yellow stamens in the middle.  The flowering stems are taller than the basal leaves.

In North Carolina, it can be found growing across the state, but more so along the coast.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#rain garden#native perennials#salt tolerant#showy fruits#salt spray tolerant#herbaceous#NC native#herbaceous perennials#naturalizes#grass-like#naturalized area#food source summer#native bulb#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#bee friendly#Audubon#dry soils intolerant#drought intolerant#native#showy
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#rain garden#native perennials#salt tolerant#showy fruits#salt spray tolerant#herbaceous#NC native#herbaceous perennials#naturalizes#grass-like#naturalized area#food source summer#native bulb#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#bee friendly#Audubon#dry soils intolerant#drought intolerant#native#showy
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sisyrinchium
    Species:
    atlanticum
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Rain gardens and other moist locations.
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, CT
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant attracts birds and bees.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Defines Paths
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Native Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Displays from June to August on a slender stalk. It will split when dry to expose 2 or more smooth black seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small blue to violet flowers with yellow centers bloom from March to June with 1 to 4 blooms per stem. The star shaped petals are rounded at the tips with a needle-like projection at the very tip.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The narrow, basal leaves are pale green, reaching a length from 4 to 8 inches.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Flat stems terminate with loose clusters of flowers. The smooth stems are narrowly winged and appear branched.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Songbirds