Western Blue Eyed Grass, Blue Eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium bellum

Blue-eyed grass

Color: Blue to purple

Common name: Western Blue Eyed Grass, Blue Eyed Grass

Latin name: Sisyrinchium bellum

Family: IRIDACEAE

Height: < 24 inches

Description: The stems of Sisyrinchium bellum can grow as long as 60 cm (24 in), though they are often shorter. The flowers are 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) in diameter and purplish-blue, varying somewhat in color from a true blue to a definite purple; occasional white-flowering plants are found. It flowers from. Dried in air, its seeds weigh between 1 and 4 mg. After flowering, it dies to the ground and is dormant over the summer.

Leaf: Its leaves are grassy and tufted.

Range: California including desert mountains, Sonoran and Mojave deserts

Habitat: Common. Open, generally moist, grassy areas, woodlands

Elevation: generally < 2400 m

Flowering time: Mar-May

Notes: Sisyrinchium bellum, a monocot, is a perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. Horticulture: S. bellum prefers some moisture and good drainage, but will tolerate summer dryness. It can be propagated by seed, and it self-sows. It can also be propagated by division of its rhizomes, and the flower stems can be rooted. It is moderately hardy and will tolerate temperatures down to 20 degrees F.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

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