Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Blue-eyed grass

with 20 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

Welcome to something you haven’t seen here before: blue-eyed grass. It’s not a grass at all but a small wildflower in the genus Sisyrinchium. There are various species of blue-eyed grass, and they’re hard to tell apart, so I can’t say which of the seven that have been reported in Travis County this one is. What I can say is that here’s yet another wildflower with blue in its name that looks violet to me.

Date: March 29, 2013.  Location: the Mueller Greenway in east-central Austin.  I found this clump of flowering plants, at most 6 inches tall, growing right by the edge of a sidewalk.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 13, 2013 at 6:18 AM

20 Responses

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  1. An incredibly large bunch. It is blue violet – does that count? Really lovely photo.

    Nancy

    April 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    • Colors are subjective, so you can have this one be blue violet if you’d like, Nancy. And yes, this bunch was larger than I’m used to seeing, so I was happy for the chance to take a “dense” photograph of blue-eyed grass.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

  2. I love Blue Eyed Grass! I used to have it growing in bunches in my native gardens in California. These look to be colonized! Or is it your close perspective?

    Lynda

    April 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    • I was close. This was a dense clump, but it was a good distance from any other blue-eyed grass. I’m glad to have given you this view of a plant you love.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM

  3. What a pretty thing! And it does seem amazingly dense. I’ve been noticing that some flowers, like the evening primrose, are thicker than I’ve ever seen them. The various stands may be quite some distance apart, but they can be as much as 12-15 feet across.

    shoreacres

    April 13, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    • We’ve been seeing some dense bunches of pink evening primroses here, too; not huge colonies, but perhaps of the size you mentioned. Yesterday I saw a picturesque patch in the median of Mopac, where unfortunately I can’t get to it. It’s been a good spring for this species. Happy pink.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 13, 2013 at 6:53 PM

  4. That’s one of my favorites that grow here in NH, but I don’t expect to see it for quite a while yet.

    jomegat

    April 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    • I didn’t realize some species are cold-hardy enough to survive in New Hampshire. I guess June up there is like March down here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      • June is about right. It grows in a gravelly spot where we turn our cars around in my driveway. I don’t mow there because of the blue-eyed grass, so that spot does get a bit overgrown. It also supports some veronica, sweet fern, various cinquefoils, and a few other species. Pretty diverse spot for a gravel patch.

        jomegat

        April 13, 2013 at 9:18 PM

  5. Those are very pretty!

    montucky

    April 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM

  6. […] a closer look at the small wildflower in the genus Sisyrinchium that’s called blue-eyed grass even though it’s neither a grass nor, at least to my rods and cones, blue. As Eye see it, if […]

  7. A true pet of mine. I’ve loved Sisyrinchium for ages, so you can imagine how delighted I was to find it as a local native here in Denton! Such graceful form; so noble and soigne for such a tiny beauty. Ahhh!

    kathryningrid

    April 14, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    • “So noble and soigné”: are you sure you’re not talking about the photographer?

      Denton isn’t that far from Austin, so we share plenty of the same or similar species. I’m glad you’ve got blue-eyed grass up there, and I hope yours is doing as well as ours.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 14, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      • But of course! Though I can’t speak to your being tiny, the rest applies indeed. Haven’t seen yet a peep of our blue-eyed grass here yet, but I remain stalwart in hope.

        kathryningrid

        April 17, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        • I’m glad you’re stalwart and I hope the blue-eyed grass up there won’t deserve the name stall-wort.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 17, 2013 at 6:16 PM

  8. Oh what a nice clump! Here it grows sparsely, interspersed among the other wildflowers. Like wild parsley. 🙂

    melissabluefineart

    April 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    • I’ve often seen it sparser here, too, so this dense clump was a treat. Because of its small size, it can get dwarfed by surrounding plants.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 15, 2013 at 6:58 PM

  9. […] the picture that the seeker was led to shows blue-eyed grass […]


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