Species Name: Sisyrichium angustifolium ’Lucerne’
Common Name: Blue-eyed grass ‘Lucerne’
Zone: 5 to 9
Light: Full Sun Preferred to
Soil Moisture: Moist to
Medium, well drained
Soil Types: Sand, Loam,
Fertility: Poor to Medium
pH: acid or neutral soils
pH 5 to 6.8
Bloom Time: late spring to
early summer and last about 2 months
Although its common name is Blue-eyed grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium
belongs in the iris family and is not a grass at all. It is a clump-forming
perennial that features a mound of narrow grass-like leaves typically growing
to 12" tall. Clusters of violet-blue flowers each with 6 pointed tepals
and a yellow eye, appear in late spring to early summer on branched flowering
Sisyrichium angustifolium ‘Lucerne’ is a cultivar that has
compact growth, larger than normal flowers and more floriferous.
Blue-eyed grass grows best in poor
to average soil that are consistently moist but well-drained. In rich soils the
plant becomes lanky and is often out competed by more aggressive plants. It prefers full sun and blooms more prolifically
in full sun but can tolerate a modest amount of shade.
In the wild plants are
indigenous to floodplain forests, woodland edges and clearings, riverbanks,
moist meadows and fields, roadsides, moist to mesic prairies and moist oak
savannas. As a prairie wildflower, it would experience seasonal flooding in its
natural environment in spring and early summer as long as
the soils are well drained. It can suffer and decline if soils dry out for too long a
It is native to eastern Canada to Maine and Florida and west
to Minnesota, Kansas and Texas.
Blue-eyed grass will readily naturalize and spread slowly by rhizomes and will self-seed to form
ground-cover colonies. When propagating
from seed, direct sow in the fall for spring germination or seeds can be moist
stratified for 6 weeks in a refrigerator and then held under cool conditions
(50-60ºF) to germinate in 1-2 weeks; typically they
will not germinate well at room temperatures.
Under garden conditions divide every 2-3 years to keep plants vigorous.
The flowers attract halictine
bees, bumblebees and other native bees and pollinating insects seeking nectar
and pollen. Blue-eyed grass has no significant insect or disease problems
and is relatively deer resistant.
Blue eyed grass ‘Lucerne’ produce a darker
A stand of Sisyrichium angustifolium, Blue eyed grass
A field of Sisyrichium angustifolium, Blue eyed grass.