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Herbs & Plants

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

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Botanical Name : Sisyrinchium angustifolium
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Sisyrinchieae
Genus: Sisyrinchium
Species: S. angustifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Sisyrinchium graminoides – Bicknell.,Sisyrinchium montanum – Greene.

Common Names :Stout blue-eyed grass or Blue-eyed grass

Habitat :Sisyrinchium angustifolium is  native to Western Ireland. South-eastern N. America. Naturalized in Britain.  It occurs  in sandy woods in Texas. Naturalised in Britain where it grows in marshy meadows and on lake shores.

Description:
Sisyrinchium angustifolium is a herbaceous perennial plant .It grows in a clump around 1-2 ft (30-60 cm) across and about the same height. The leaves are linear, up to 20 in (50 cm) long, often grow in the shape of a fan, and look a lot like grass leaves. They are evergreen in mild climates. The flowers have six bluish purple “petals” with yellow centers. (Actually the “petals” consist of three sepals and three true petals, but they all look pretty much alike.) The flowers are about three-quarters of an inch (1.9 cm) across, and stand erect above the leaves on slender grasslike flattened stalks. Individually, they are short lived, but the succession of flowers can last several weeks in spring and early summer.

click to see the pictures
It is hardy to zone 4 to 9 . It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist but well-drained humus-rich loamy soil and a position in full sun, though it will tolerate part-day shade. gives a hardiness rating of zone 3 to this plant (tolerating winter temperatures down to about -40°c) but then says that the plant will need the protection of a cold greenhouse in areas where the temperature falls much below freezing. Plants will often self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in the autumn, though it can also be sown in the spring. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – cooked. They are mixed with other greens.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is astringent. An infusion is used to treat diarrhoea in adults and children. The leaves are eaten as a cooked green to regulate the bowels. An infusion of the plant has been used to treat stomach complaints and stomach worms.

Other Uses:
*Important nectar source for pollinators
*Provides good cover for small wildlife
*Cardinals, song sparrows, house finches and other songbirds eat the seed.
*Bright blue flowers with gold centers are good cut flowers
*Deer resistant plant that thrives in full sun

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Sisyrinchium+angustifolium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyrinchium_angustifolium
http://www.abnativeplants.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantdetail&plant_id=56
http://www.floridata.com/ref/s/sisy_ang.cfm
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/i870/sisyrinchium-angustifolium.aspx

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Herbs & Plants

Blue-Eyed Grass

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Botanical Name :Sisyrinchium bellum
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Sisyrinchieae
Genus: Sisyrinchium
Species: S. bellum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names :Blue-Eyed Grass, Western Blue-eyed Grass, Californian Blue-eyed Grass

Habitat :Blue-Eyed Grass  is  common in  California and Oregon in and west of the Sierra Nevada, its range extending south into Baja California. In parts of its range, Western Blue-eyed Grass has previously been classified as Sisyrinchium eastwoodiae, S. greenei and S. hesperium, but these names are now considered synonyms.

Sisyrinchium bellum grows as a perennial plant in open places where there is some moisture, particularly grassy areas, though it can also be found in woodlands and at altitudes up to 2,400 metres (7,900 ft). Like other species of blue-eyed grasses that are locally dominant, it is generally known simply as “Blue-eyed Grass” within its natural range.

Description:
Blue-eyed Grass. Sisyrinchium bellum is a 1 foot tall perennial with 1 inch blue flowers in Jan.-June. It has small, iris-like leaves. It is widely distributed in California on open, grassy slopes. It likes full sun and garden water. It also can become very drought tolerant. It grows in sand to clay, coastal bluffs to interior grasslands. There is one spot east of here that gets 8 inches of rainfall each year and blue-eyed grass is doing fine. Cold tolerant to at least 0 as it will go winter dormant in bad years. Big Sky Nursery in Frazier Park says this one did great up there even in the -18 degree weather. We planted these in reflected sun in Taft with once per week or so water and they grew to 2 feet tall with 20 or so flowers at a time covering them for months.

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The stems of Sisyrinchium bellum can grow as long as 60 centimetres (24 in), though they are often shorter. Its leaves are grassy and tufted. The flowers are 1–2 centimetres (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 March to July. Dried in air, its seeds weigh between 1 and 4 mg. After flowering, it dies to the ground and is dormant over the summer.

Cultivation:
Sisyrinchium 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; -12 degrees Celsius.

Medicinal Uses:
The Ohlone used an infusion of the roots and leaves as a cure for indigestion and stomach pain, and similar uses are recorded from other Native American peoples.

The Coast Miwok have used tea made from blue-eyed grass to treat stomach-aches. Coastanoans and Hispanic Californians  have used the tea to reduce fever.  The Ohlone used an infusion of the roots and leaves as a cure for indigestion and stomach pain, and similar uses are recorded from other Native American peoples. The roots were used as a purgative.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/sisyrinchium-bellum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyrinchium_bellum

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