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Needle-pointed Blue-eyed Grass Sisyrinchium mucronatum

Phonetic Spelling
sis-ee-RINK-ee-um muh-kron-AH-tum
Description

Needle-tipped Blue-eyed Grass is a perennial bulb in the iris family native to Canada and the southeastern U.S.A. Contrary to its common name, it is not a grass, but a member of the genus Sisyrinchium, which includes annuals and perennials in the iris family.  The low growing, narrow leaves do have a grass-like appearance, thus the common name.

Growing in the form of an upright clump, thin rhizomes spread outward from the clump.  

Its native habitat includes forests, woodlands, fields, meadows, and along ponds and streams.

Typically in groups of 2 to 4 flowers on each stalk, the dainty, deep blue to violet flowers open one at a time.  Occasionally, white flowers will appear.  The star shaped blooms are under 3/4" across, and each has 3 petals and 3 sepals that are very similar in appearance, however, the sepals are slightly wider than the petals.  At the tip of each rounded petal or sepal is a needle like tip, thus its common name of Needle-tip Blue-eyed grass.  The flowers are enclosed by 2 bracts that resemble leaves and are wider than the stem.  Flowers close in the late afternoon to evening and open again in the morning.  

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

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#native perennials#salt tolerant#salt spray tolerant#NC native#native garden#naturalizes#cutting garden#native wildflower#naturalized area#food source summer#native bulb#Piedmont Mountains FAC#Coastal FACW#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#Audubon#native#perennial
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#native perennials#salt tolerant#salt spray tolerant#NC native#native garden#naturalizes#cutting garden#native wildflower#naturalized area#food source summer#native bulb#Piedmont Mountains FAC#Coastal FACW#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#Audubon#native#perennial
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sisyrinchium
    Species:
    mucronatum
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native wildflower
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, CT, DC, DE, GA, IL, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, TT, WI, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Songbirds are attracted to the fruits.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Easy to Grow
    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:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Tiny, round, fruits display from June to July on a thin stalk. When ripe, it will split open to reveal two or more black seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Deep blue to violet flowers bloom from April to June.
  • 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:
    Basal leaves up to 8" long are formed and are shorter than the flowering stalks. Their width is less than 1/10 of an inch.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stiff, slender, unbranched stems have wings and smooth edges. The flowers sit at the top of the 1/16" wide stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt