Narrowleaf Blue-Eyed Grass


Blue and yellow merge in a collage of petals and inside out buds:


The Narrowleaf Blue-Eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium, is not a true grass. Rather, it is a herbaceous grass like perennial. Several linear leaf blades grow from a fibrous root system forming a fanlike clump. Blades are flat and about 1/8 inch wide. Each blade will reach about a foot high when it morphs into a rounded and branching stem that grows for another 6 inches or so. At the tip of the rounded stem is a cluster of 4 to 6 flower buds.

Flowers bloom usually one at a time. The flower bud is composed of three sepals. When the bud opens the sepals spread out. This is the first whorl of the flower or the calyx.  The second whorl is the corolla which rests on the calyx. The petals make up the corolla. Sepals and petals are similar. The tips are rounded and notched.  Sepals are a bit wider and longer. The order is sepal –petal-sepal-petal-sepal-petal. Color is a light blue. There is a yellow eye-ring at the center of the corolla.  Three male stamens are located at the center of the eye-ring.  Each bloom is about 3/8 inch in diameter.

Blue-Eyed Grass, a member of the Iris family, is found in the  meadows, moist prairies, and savannas of just about every county in the State. There are four more species of the genus Sisyrinchium in Florida. The specimen in the picture was found in the Okaloacoochee Slough in Hendry County.

Dorothy Rodwell