Species Name:  Sisyrichium angustifolium ’Lucerne’

Common Name: Blue-eyed grass ‘Lucerne’

Zone: 5 to 9

Light: Full Sun Preferred to Light Shade

Soil Moisture: Moist to Medium, well drained

Soil Types: Sand, Loam, Clay

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

Habit: 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 stems.


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 period. 

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 flowers

Blue eyed grass ‘Lucerne’ produce a darker blue flower.

A planting of Blue-eyed grass

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A stand of Sisyrichium angustifolium, Blue eyed grass in bloom

A field of Blue-eyed grzss

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A field of Sisyrichium angustifolium, Blue eyed grass.