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Rudbeckia hirta ~ Black Eyed Susan Plant Care Guide

BESusan

Rudbeckia hirta, commonly called black-eyed Susan, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the Eastern and Central United States. It is one of a number of plants with the common name black-eyed Susan. Other common names for this plant include: brown-eyed Susan, brown Betty, gloriosa daisy, golden Jerusalem, Poorland daisy, yellow daisy, and yellow ox-eye daisy.

It is the state flower of Maryland.

The plant also is a traditional Native American medicinal herb in several tribal nations; believed in those cultures to be a remedy, among other things, for colds, flu, infection, swelling and (topically, by poultice) for snake bite (although not all parts of the plant are edible).

Parts of the plant have nutritional value. Other parts are not edible.

[ Read in Full Here ]

Botanical name: Rudbeckia hirta and other species

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Flower color: Red, Orange, Yellow

Bloom time: Summer, Fall

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are native to North America and one of the most popular wildflowers grown. They tend to blanket open fields, often surprising the passer-by with their golden-yellow beauty.

Members of the sunflower family, the “black eye” is named for the dark brown-purple centers of its daisy-like flower heads. The plants can grow to over 3 feet tall, with leaves of 6 inches, stalks over 8 inches long and flower diameter of 2 to 3 inches.

Butterflies, bees and a variety of insects are attracted to the flowers for the nectar. As they drink the nectar, they move pollen from one plant to another, causing it to grow fruits and seeds that can move about easily with the wind.

These plants bloom from June to October. Note that they can be territorial in that they tend to squash out other flowers growing near them.

Black-eyed Susans are good for cut flowers; they also work well for borders or in containers.

Planting

  • Black-eyed Susans when the soil temperature has reached 70 degrees F for best seed germination. In many parts of North America, the planting period is March to May. The flower will flower June to September. Germination takes 7 to 30 days.
  • Plant seeds in moist, well-drained soil.
  • These hearty flowers really enjoy the Sun. They prefer full sun, though they’ll grow in partial sun.
  • Sow by seed in loosely covered soil.
  • It’s best if soil is fertile (not poor) though they can tolerate tough conditions.
  • Black-eyed Susans generally grow between 1 and 3 feet tall (though they can grow taller) and can spread between 12 to 18 inches, so plant seeds closer to prevent lots of spreading or plant further apart to make a nice border.

Care

  • Check your plants regularly to see if they need watering. Make sure they don’t dry out.
  • Divide perennial types every 3 to 4 years to ensure healthy plants and to prevent excessive spreading.
  • Be sure to remove faded/dead flowers to prolong blooming.
  • You can cut back black-eyed Susans after they flower and a second, smaller bloom may occur in late fall.

Pests

  •  These plants are susceptible to powdery mildew fungi, so begin an organic antifungal program if the lower leaves turn brown and twisted.
  • Slugs and snails
  • Aphids
  • Powdery mildew
  • Rust
  • Smut
  • Leaf spots

Harvest/Storage

After the first season, black-eyed susans can reseed themselves!

Recommended Varieties

  • Becky Mixed, which offers a variety of colors for your garden, such as lemon-yellow, golden-yellow, dark red, and reddish-brown.
  • Sonora, which has bright yellow flowers.
  • Toto, which is a dwarf type and ideal for containers.

Special Features

  • Attracts Butterflies

 SOURCE

Rudbeckia hirta

Rudbeckia hirta L.
Black-eyed Susan, Common black-eyed Susan, Brown-eyed Susan
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s):
USDA Symbol: RUHI2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (I), CAN (N)

This cheerful, widespread wildflower is considered an annual to a short-lived perennial across its range. Bright-yellow, 2-3 in. wide, daisy-like flowers with dark centers are its claim-to-fame. They occur singly atop 1-2 ft. stems. The stems and scattered, oval leaves are covered with bristly hairs. Coarse, rough-stemmed plant with daisy-like flower heads made up of showy golden-yellow ray flowers, with disk flowers forming a brown central cone.

This native prairie biennial forms a rosette of leaves the first year, followed by flowers the second year. It is covered with hairs that give it a slightly rough texture. The Green-headed Coneflower (R. laciniata) has yellow ray flowers pointing downward, a greenish-yellow disk, and irregularly divided leaves.

SOURCE


 

More …

Care of a Black Eyed Susan Plant

 

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Fairy Spuds :) Claytonia virginica ~ Edible Spring Wildflowers

Claytonia virginica 2 Radnor Lake.jpg

“Claytonia virginica 2 Radnor Lake” by Kaldari – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Claytonia virginica (L.), the Eastern spring beauty, Virginia spring beauty, or fairy spud, is an herbaceous perennial in the family Portulacaceae. Its native range is Eastern North America. Its scientific name honors Colonial Virginia botanist John Clayton (1694–1773).

Spring beauty is found in the Eastern temperate deciduous forest of North America. It is noted for its abundance throughout many parts of its range, especially in forests. The plant can be found throughout many different habitat types including lawns, city parks, forests, roadsides, wetlands, bluffs, and ravines.

This plant has been used medicinally by the Iroquois, who would give a cold infusion or decoction of the powdered roots to children suffering from convulsions. They would also eat the raw roots, believing that they permanently prevented conception. They would also eat the roots as food,[13] as would the Algonquin people, who cooked them like potatoes. Spring beauty corms along with the entire above ground portion of the plant are safe for human consumption.

SOURCE

Our most widely distributed early spring flower. Flower stalks bear several flowers branching from the main stem; flowers with 2 sepals that fall off as the flower opens; 5 petals, white (sometimes pink) with distinct pink veining; 5 pink stamens. Blooms February–May. Leaves 1 or 2 basal and 1 opposite pair on stems, narrow, lanceolate, tapering to a sessile base, dark green, sometimes purplish, fleshy. Root a rounded corm.

Claytonia virginica, Fox Chapel, 2015-04-18, 01.jpg

“Claytonia virginica, Fox Chapel, 2015-04-18, 01” by Cbaile19 – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

Size: 
Height: about 5 inches during flowering; about twice that tall later.

Habitat and conservation: 
Found, often in abundance, in open woods, fields, valleys, suburban lawns, and sometimes rocky ledges. This species is also called the Virginia spring beauty, picking up on the scientific name, as well as “fairy spud,” for the edible corms, which resemble tiny potatoes.

Distribution in Missouri: 
Statewide.
Human connections:
This well-named plant provides a bounty of beauty in the woods as well as in open areas and yards. The potato-like corms (“fairy spuds”) and the leaves are edible, and naturally Native Americans knew this well before today’s wild-foods enthusiasts.

Ecosystem connections: 
This and other tender plants that emerge in early spring provide a welcome dietary boost for many animals, from insects to birds to mammals. Other plants in the purslane family include the garden favorite “moss rose,” and the bitterroot flower of the Rocky Mountains.

SOURCE

watercanolla

Fairy Spud Cultivation 

Cultivation: The preference is dappled sunlight during the spring, moist to slightly dry conditions, and a rich loamy soil with abundant organic matter. This wildflower will adapt to semi-shaded areas of lawns if mowing is delayed during the spring. Both the flowers and foliage fade away by mid-summer. The easy way to start plants is by obtaining their corms, although these are expensive to buy from nurseries.

Range & Habitat: The native Spring Beauty is a common wildflower that occurs in every county of Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include moist to dry deciduous woodlands, savannas, thinly wooded bluffs, city parks, old cemeteries, and lawns (particularly near trees). Less often, this species is found in mesic prairies, but it is primarily a woodland plant. Spring Beauty can survive more environmental degradation than most spring-blooming woodland species, including occasional grazing by cattle and partial clearing of trees. This is one reason why it is still common.

[ READ IN FULL HERE ]

Flickr - Nicholas T - Pink Striae.jpg

“Flickr – Nicholas T – Pink Striae” by Nicholas A. Tonelli from Pennsylvania, USA – Pink Striae. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Spring Beauty, also Springbeauty, is a longtime standard for foragers. They are abundant in some areas, rare in others. Thus forage with some local consideration. True to its name the attractive wild flower is a sign of spring and easy to recognize from other spring blossoms. The white to pink petals have pink stripes, sometimes pale, sometimes bright, but pink stripes nonetheless. Each blossom also only has two sepals (leaves right under the blossom.) Lower leaves are strap-like varying in size and width. The plant grows small roots that remind people of tiny potatoes, hence the nickname “Fairy Spuds.”  At least one botanist said you can eat them “but their small size makes this rather impractical.” Famous forager Euell Gibbons clearly would disagree.

[ READ MORE HERE ]

Perhaps no other wildflower announces the new season as fervently as the spring beauty …  here 


 

GrapeVine


Brunnera ~ Siberian bugloss Plant Care Guide

Siberian bugloss ~ Großblättriges Kaukasusvergissmein 12 April 2014 MartinThoma

Siberian bugloss 12 April 2014
MartinThoma

Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian bugloss, great forget-me-not, heartleaf) is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to the Caucasus. It is a hardy, rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial, that can reach from 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) in height, and carries basal, simple cordate leaves on slender stems. Sprays of small blue flowers, similar to those seen in the related forget-me-nots, are borne from mid-Spring, and bloom for eight to ten weeks.

The plant is valued as groundcover in shady areas, and has clumps of large heart-shaped leaves of about six inches (15 cm); these usually have white or cream markings, and are present all season. Plants are happy in any shady area that stays relatively moist. It often self-seeds, appearing around the garden in other places. Clumps may be easily divided in early fall.

The Latin specific epithet macrophylla means “larger-leaved”.

This plant and the variegated cultivars ‘Hadspen Cream’ and ‘Jack Frost’ have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Source

forgetmenots

Heartleaf Brunnera

Herbaceous Perennial Flower

Also known as Siberian Bugloss , False Forget Me Not
Brunnera macrophylla
Boraginaceae Family
Synonym: Anchusa myosotidiflora

Perfect for moist woodland settings, dainty intensely blue flowers rise above heart shaped, dark green leaves on this spring-blooming perennial.

Read in Full Here 

forgetmenots

A superb introduction, forming a clump of heart-shaped silver leaves, delicately veined with mint green. Sprays of bright blue Forget-me-not flowers appear in mid to late spring. This is a choice collector’s plant, but an easy-to-grow perennial that performs well in all but the driest of shady conditions. Excellent for the woodland garden. ‘Jack Frost’ handles more direct sun that most other variegated types of Brunnera, though in hot-summer regions some afternoon shade is recommended to prevent leaf scorch. Selected as the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association.

Read in Full Here

forgetmenots

Brunnera Plants: How To Plant Brunnera Siberian Bugloss

By Becca Badgett

Blooming, growing brunnera is one of the prettiest plants to include in the shady garden. Commonly called false forget-me-not, petite blooms compliment attractive, glossy foliage. Brunnera Siberian bugloss is also called heartleaf brunnera because of the shape of its leaves. It is an herbaceous perennial, dying back in winter.

About Brunnera Plants

The light blue blooms of brunnera plants rise above the leaves of various cultivars. Brunnera plants have leaves that are glossy green or in variegated hues of gray, silver or white, such as the popular cultivar ‘Jack Frost.’ Brunnera Siberian bugloss blooms in early to mid spring.

When growing brunnera, locate the plant in part to full shade, in well-drained soil that can be kept consistently and lightly moist. Brunnera plants don’t do well in soil that dries out, neither will they flourish in soggy soil.

Read in Full Here

forgetmenots


 


 

watercanolla


Milkweed ~ Growing milkweed for monarchs ~ Endangered Monarch Butterflies

Asclepias_fascicularis_flowers_2003-06-05

Asclepias L. (1753), the milkweeds, is a genus of herbaceous perennial, dicotyledonous plants that contains over 140 known species. It previously belonged to the family Asclepiadaceae, but this is now classified as the subfamily Asclepiadoideae of the dogbane family Apocynaceae.

Milkweed is named for its milky sap, which consists of a latex containing alkaloids and several other complex compounds including cardenolides.  Some species are known to be toxic.

Carl Linnaeus named the genus after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, because of the many folk-medicinal uses for the milkweed plants.

Pollination in this genus is accomplished in an unusual manner. Pollen is grouped into complex structures called pollinia (or “pollen sacs”), rather than being individual grains or tetrads, as is typical for most plants. The feet or mouthparts of flower-visiting insects such as bees, wasps and butterflies, slip into one of the five slits in each flower formed by adjacent anthers. The bases of the pollinia then mechanically attach to the insect, pulling a pair of pollen sacs free when the pollinator flies off, assuming the insect is large enough to produce the necessary pulling force (if not, the insect may become trapped and die. Pollination is effected by the reverse procedure in which one of the pollinia becomes trapped within the anther slit.

Asclepias species produce their seeds in follicles. The seeds, which are arranged in overlapping rows, bear a cluster white, silky, filament-like hairs known as the coma[4] (often referred to by other names such as pappus, “floss”, “plume”, or “silk”). The follicles ripen and split open, and the seeds, each carried by its coma, are blown by the wind.

They have many different flower colorations, depending on species.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias

Asclepiaseriocarpa

Help Monarchs with the Right Milkweeds

Milkweeds Native to your Region

The most important thing you can do is to plant the milkweeds that are the most common in your own region, and here is a way to find out what those are. The following link is from the Monarchwatch.org site, where you will find each state listed with all the milkweeds that grow there named.

http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/help-monarchs-with-the-right-milkweeds/

Asclepias_sp._flowers_(Marshal_Hedin)

Milkweed Seed Finder

Native milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are essential for monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars and support a diversity of pollinators with their abundant nectar. By including milkweeds in gardens, landscaping, wildlife habitat restoration projects, and native revegetation efforts you can provide breeding habitat for monarchs and a valuable nectar source for butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. As part of our Project Milkweed, we have created this comprehensive national directory of milkweed seed vendors to help you find sources of seed. To learn more about monarch butterflies and how you can participate in conservation efforts, please visit the Xerces Society’s Monarch Butterfly and Western Monarch Conservation Campaign pages or the Monarch Joint Venture webpage

Please use the drop-down menus below to search for seed sources by species and/or state. Below the search function, you can read more about finding and selecting the milkweed seed that is right for your area.

Before using the Seed Finder, please note that:

  • Milkweed seed is currently unavailable in several areas of the country. If you do not receive any results when you search by state, we have not learned of any milkweed vendors located there. Please search other states in your region for vendors who may carry local ecotype seed that is appropriate for planting in your area.
  • A seed vendor’s physical address does not always reflect the origin of the seed that they carry. Please always ask vendors for information about seed origin and whenever possible, try to plant seed that is as locally sourced as possible.
  • Some of the vendors listed are wholesale only and require a minimum order amount.
  • In most parts of the country, it is best to plant milkweed seed in the fall; however spring planting is possible in some areas. Please ask your regional seed vendor for planting recommendations.

Search For Native Milkweed Seed~ 

http://www.xerces.org/milkweed-seed-finder/

Asclepias_asperula_-_Antelope_Horns

GROWING MILKWEEDS

Introduction
Milkweeds can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, and, in some cases, from root divisions. This account will deal with storage, treatment and planting of milkweeds seeds and will briefly touch on propagation from cuttings.

Milkweed seeds can be planted in prepared beds outdoors or started indoors in flats. We recommend the latter approach since germination rates are generally higher indoors and it is easier to establish your milkweeds with transplanted seedlings that are well-rooted and therefore more resistant to weather extremes and pests.

http://www.ourhabitatgarden.org/creatures/milkweed-growing.html

Asclepiascommon

Germinating, Growing and Transplanting
Milkweed seedlings can be started indoors in a greenhouse or under artificial lighting and then transplanted outdoors after the average date of last frost. If seeds are started indoors, allow 4-8 weeks growing time before transplanting. Plastic flats can be used to start the seeds. Fill the flats with a soil mix suitable for seedlings (most potting mixes are), thoroughly soak the soil, and let the excess water drain. Sow the seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover with about 1/4 inch of additional soil mix. Gently mist the soil surface with water to dampen the additional soil mix that has been added. In an effort to improve germination rates, many gardeners place the seeds in packets made from paper towels and soak them in warm water for 24 hours prior to planting. This method seems to work especially well for seeds of species that require vernalization (see below).

Read in Full Here :

http://www.monarchwatch.org/milkweed/prop.htm

butterfly-shadow-texas_55573_990x742

Common Milkweed ~ Asclepias syriaca

Milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae)

Cultivation: The preference is full sun, rich loamy soil, and mesic conditions, but this robust plant can tolerate a variety of situations, including partial sun and a high clay or sand content in the soil. Under ideal conditions, Common Milkweed can become 6′ tall and spread aggressively, but it is more typically about 3-4′ tall. This plant is very easy to grow once it becomes established.

Range & Habitat: Habitats include moist to dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, sand dunes along lake shores, thickets, woodland borders, fields and pastures, abandoned fields, vacant lots, fence rows, and areas along railroads and roadsides. This plant is a colonizer of disturbed areas in both natural and developed habitats.

http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/cm_milkweed.htm

 

Deadline March 2: Ask the Fish & Wildlife Service to Put the Monarch Butterfly on the Endangered Species List – See more at:

http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15690

Monarch on Milkweed

Flight of the Butterflies 3D

The monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature. Weighing less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent to a place it has never known. Follow the monarchs’ perilous journey and experience millions of them in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico, with breathtaking cinematography from an award winning team including Oscar® winner Peter Parks. Be captivated by the true and compelling story of an intrepid scientist’s 40-year search to find their secret hideaway. Unravel the mysteries and experience the Flight of the Butterflies.
http://www.si.edu/Imax/movie/71


Indoor Gardens for Small Apartments | Suspended and Container Gardening

RegaderaMetalica
Every house should have a garden but unfortunately for many a garden is only a dream. Container gardening is a perfect solution for those who do not have much space in their home, but would like to grow their own vegetables or flowers.


 


 


 
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Asters Plant Care Guide ~ Varieties

aster

The genus Aster once contained nearly 600 species in Eurasia and North America, but after morphologic and molecular research on the genus during the 1990s, it was decided that the North American species are better treated in a series of other related genera. After this split there are roughly 180 species within the genus, all but one being confined to Eurasia.[3] The name Aster comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀστήρ (astér), meaning “star”, referring to the shape of the flower head. Many species and a variety of hybrids and varieties are popular as garden plants because of their attractive and colourful flowers. Aster species are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species—see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Aster. Asters can grow in all hardiness zones.

The genus Aster is now generally restricted to the Old World species, with Aster amellus being the type species of the genus, as well as of the family Asteraceae.[1] The New World species have now been reclassified in the genera Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus,Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus and Symphyotrichum, though all are treated within the tribe Astereae. Regardless of the taxonomic change, all are still widely referred to as “asters” (popularly “Michaelmas daisies” because of their typical blooming period) in the horticultural trades. See the List of Aster synonyms for more information.

Some common North American species that have now been moved are:

The “China aster” is in the related genus Callistephus.

Species

Aster alpinus is the only species ofAster (sensu stricto) that grows natively in North America; it is found in mountains across the Northern Hemisphere.

In the United Kingdom, there are only two native members of the genus: goldilocks, which is very rare, and Aster tripolium, the sea aster. Aster alpinus spp. vierhapperi is the only species native to North America.[2]

Some common species are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aster_(genus)

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 Asters are daisy-like perennials with starry-shaped flower heads. They bring delightful color to the garden in late summer and autumn when many of your other summer blooms may be fading.

The plant’s height ranges from 8 inches to 8 feet, depending on the type. You can find an aster for almost any garden and they have many uses, such as in borders, rock gardens, or wildflower gardens. Asters also attract butterflies to your garden!

http://www.almanac.com/plant/aster

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Aster_yomena_yomena02

Aster’s brilliant flowers brighten the fall garden when little else is blooming. Indeed, “aster,” the Latin word for “star,” aptly describes the starry flower heads. Another common name is Michaelmas daisy.

About This Plant

Aster thrives in areas with cool, moist summers. It produces blue, white, or pink flowers in the late summer or fall. Plant height ranges from 8 inches to 8 feet, depending on variety. Tall varieties make good back-of-the-border plants and are also attractive planted in naturalized meadows. Aster is susceptible to powdery mildew and rust diseases, so choose disease-resistant varieties.

Special Features

Attracts butterflies.

Site Selection

Select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil.

Planting Instructions

Plant in spring, spacing plants 1 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Prepare garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.

Care

Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Pinch young shoots back to encourage bushiness. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Stake tall varieties to keep them upright. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line. Divide plants every three to four years as new growth begins in the spring, lifting plants and dividing them into clumps containing three to five shoots.

http://www.garden.org/plantguide/?q=show&id=2031

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How to Grow and Care for Aster Flowers

Perennial

Growing Asters is easy. Perennial Aster flowers grow well in average soils, but needs full sun. Aster flowers come in blues, purples and a variety of pinks. All Asters are yellow in the center of the flower. They are daisy-like in appearance, even though they are a member of the sunflower family.

Did you know? The yellow center of Asters is actually comprised of many tiny flowerets.

Asters come in a wide variety, with some less than a foot tall, while others are two feet tall or more. Both large and smaller varieties make good cut flowers for vases and arrangements.

Plant Height: up to 24 inches

Flowers Bloom: Summer/Fall

http://www.gardenersnet.com/flower/aster.htm

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Butterfly-Flowers-Wallpapers2

All About Asters

From tall to small, splashy to subdued, these perennials are proven performers.
by Leonard Perry
from Fine Gardening issue 135

http://www.finegardening.com/all-about-asters

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Butterflies-With-Vine-black-and-White-Clipart


Sisyrinchium ~ Blue-eyed Grasses Plant Care Guide ~ Varieties

Sisyrinchium_angustifolium_(459365258)

Sisyrinchium (Blue-eyed Grasses) is a genus of 70-200 species of annual to perennial plants of the iris family, native to the New World.

Several species in the eastern United States are threatened or endangered.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyrinchium
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sisyrinchium

Sisyrinchium_angustifolium_blue-eyed_grass_meadow

Common Name: blue-eyed grass
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Garden locations
Culture

Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Prefers consistently moist soils that do not dry out, but drainage must be good. Will freely self-seed in optimum growing conditions. Plantings may be sheared back after bloom to avoid any unwanted self-seeding and/or to tidy foliage for remaining part of the growing season. Plants may need to be divided every 2-3 years to keep plantings vigorous.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Though their foliage is grass-like, the blue-eyed grasses belong to the iris family not the grass family. Sisyrinchium angustifolium is noted for its violet-blue flowers and branched flowering stems. It is native to Missouri where it occurs in damp open woods, slopes and along stream banks throughout much of the State. It is a clump-forming perennial that features a tuft of narrow grass-like leaves (to 3/16″ wide) typically growing to 12″ (less frequently to 20″) tall. Clusters of violet-blue flowers (to 1/2″ across), each with 6 pointed tepals and a yellow eye, appear in spring on stalks growing from leaf-like bracts atop usually branched flowering stems which are distinctively flattened. Sisyrinchium campestre, also a Missouri native, features pale blue to white flowers atop unbranched flowering stems. S. angustifolium includes plants formerly classified as S. bermudianum.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best naturalized in informal garden areas such as cottage gardens, woodland gardens, wild gardens or native plant areas. Also effective in border fronts and rock gardens. Also effective as an edger for paths or walkways.
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=i870

1280px-Sisyrinchium_angustifolium01

Blue-Eyed Grass can be a shy, retiring plant at times. They are small perennials, only 10-30 cm (4-12″) tall, with leaves to 3 mm (1/8″) wide. They start opening their eyes in early June and continue to look around all through June. But you have to be a morning person. Sometimes I have gone to photograph those pretty blue eyes in the afternoon only to find that they have already closed their eyes for the day. And just try to find them when their eyes are closed! Their medium green grass-like leaves fade into the background and mingle shyly with all the prairie grasses around them.

Each pretty blue eye sheds a tear when it is finished blooming, in the form of a small round seed capsule filled with tiny black seeds. Perhaps they are tears of happiness or perhaps they are tears of sorrow. We can only speculate. This plant is also known as Star Grass by some people because the flowers are distinctly star shaped. Blue-Eyed Grass is actually not a true grass, but a member of the Iris family, closely related to Blue Flag or Wild Iris (Iris versicolor).

Native Habitat

Blue-Eyed Grass is a native perennial that grows across the prairies and parklands in open meadows. I have seen it growing in a field in northwest Winnipeg along with Prairie Crocus and Three Flowered Avens. John Morgan (Prairie Habitats – see Gardening with Native Prairie Plants) also reported seeing a hillside covered with blooming plants in the Carberry Hills of Manitoba.
http://www.naturenorth.com/spring/flora/begrass/Fbegrass.html

Maysmallpurpleflower

Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass, Narrow-leaf blue-eyed-grass, Bermuda blue-eyed grass, Blue-eyed grass
Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Synonym(s): Sisyrinchium bermudiana, Sisyrinchium graminoides
USDA Symbol: SIAN3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The numerous, narrow, light-green leaves of this perennial form dense, tufted clumps which steadily grow with new foliage during the season. The flattened, leaf-like flowering stems may be up to 18 in. long and bear light-blue, star-shaped flowers a few inches above the leaves. Height is 1-1 1/2 ft. Several delicate, blue or deep blue-violet flowers with yellow centers in 2 broad bracts top a flat stem, generally only 1 flower at a time in bloom; stems taller than the clusters of narrow, sword-shaped leaves near base.

Although the plant is small and has grass-like leaves, the flowers have all the features of the Iris family. The various species are all much alike and separation is based on such characteristics as branching pattern and leaf length. Common Blue-eyed Grass (S. montanum) is also a widespread species, with slightly wider leaves, over 1/4 (6 mm), and unbranched stalks.

PLANT CHARACTERISTICS
Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-1.5 feet.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Brown
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

BLOOM INFORMATION
Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul

Native Habitat: Meadows; damp fields; low, open woods

GROWING CONDITIONS
Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, poor to average soils
Conditions Comments: This short-lived perennial will decline if allowed to dry out. Heavy mulch causes crown rot and rich, organic soils encourage rank, vegetative growth. Plants need to be divided at least every other year.

BENEFIT
Use Medicinal: Amerindians used root tea for diarrhea (in children); plant tea for worms, stomachaches. Several species used as laxatives. (Foster & Duke)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: No

PROPAGATION
Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed or division. Several dozen divisions can be expected from a mature, healthy specimen.
Seed Collection: Collect seed capsule when they have darkened to brown and become wrinkled.
Commercially Avail: yes

FIND SEED OR PLANTS
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SIAN3

 

 

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