FutureStarr

Sisyrinchium

Sisyrinchium

Sisyrinchium

This plant is a native of the wetlands of North America's east coast and also grows in southern Europe and North Africa. Its flowers, leaves, and shoots are used medicinally and cater to the aesthetics of gardeners.These are not true grasses, but many species have the general appearance of grasses, as they are low-growing plants with long, thin leaves. They often grow on grasslands. Many species resemble irises, to which they are more closely related. Most species grow as perennial plants, from a rhizome, though some are short-lived (e.g. S. striatum), and some are annuals (e.g. S. iridifolium).

Plant

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Blue-Eyed Grass) is a clump-forming, semi-evergreen perennial noted for its dense tuft of narrow grass-like, light-green leaves and its clusters of delicate, violet-blue, star-shaped flowers, 0.5 in. across (1 cm), adorned with yellow centers. Borne atop flattened flowering stems, they bloom profusely in late spring and early summer. Blue-Eyed Grass is a terrific plant for accents along paths or walkways, in rockeries or naturalized in cottage gardens.An interesting group of plants belonging to the Iris family. In the wild they are found in the Americas where they prefer moister soils. Much more adaptable in cultivation, a well drained soil is essential but still preferring a soil that does not dry out. All are clump forming and division is advisable every few years to maintain vigour. S striatum is a reliable self seeder in the border or dry garden, whereas the variegated form can only be increased by replanting the non-flowering fans. The smaller forms make ideal rockery or edging plants.

Sisyrinchium is a complex polyploid taxon in which the species are not always easily distinguished. When immature, plants of branched species appear to be simple-stemmed (internodes do not elongate until just before anthesis) and those of usually simple-stemmed species occasionally are branched. White flowers may occur in otherwise blue-flowered species, and vivipary occasionally occurs. Furthermore, vegetative characteristics, while distinctive in some species, may overlap greatly in wide-ranging species. Writers of past floras sometimes were unaware of such phenotypic plasticity, or were inconsistent in their use of terminology (spathes, for instance, have variously been called leaves or valves). Some taxonomists have thought differences too subtle and chosen to lump species (e.g., S. angustifolium and S. montanum have been considered synonymous by several authors). (Source: www.efloras.org)

 

 

 

Related Articles