[The Iris Family East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]
Idaho Blue-eyed Grass
Synonym: Sisyrinchium angustifolium in part
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of blue-eyed grass (variety occidentale) as seen along the Blue Mt. Scenic Highway of central Oregon to the west of Ukiah, OR...........June 22, 2007.
Previously classified as Sisyrinchium angustifolium,
this diminutive wildflower is now known as S. idahoense (according to
the USDA Plants Database). The species name angustifolium is now reserved
for plants in the eastern US. Idaho blue-eyed grass is a pretty wildflower with
one to several stems rising from 10-40 cm from a cluster of parallel-veined,
grass-like leaves. The stems are flattened, much like grass, and are about 1.5-2
mm wide. The leaves are about 2-3 mm wide.
The 2-5 flowers are umbellate, with blue to purplish tepals, often
with a yellow eye. The tepals are pleated and tipped with a short point. Individual
flowers range from 1.3-2 cm across. The anthers are a bright yellow.
Varieties of Sisyrinchium idahoense:
Idaho Blue-eyed Grass: Sisyrinchium idahoense var. idahoense (Synonyms: Sisyrinchium bellum, Sisyrinchium birameum, Sisyrinchium halophilum)
Macoun's Blue-eyed Grass: Sisyrinchium idahoense var. macounii (Synonym: Sisyrinchium macounii)
Idaho Blue-eyed Grass: Sisyrinchium idahoense var. occidentale (Synonym: Sisyrinchium occidentale)
Idaho Blue-eyed Grass: Sisyrinchium idahoense var. segetum (Synonym: Sisyrinchium segetum)
Idaho blue-eyed grass is found from near sea level into the
lower mountains. It is found in moist meadows and in marshland or within ditches.
Idaho blue-eyed grass is widespread from Alaska to Baja California,
from the coast to the east slopes of the Rocky Mts.
Close-up photos of the inflorescence of Idaho blue-eyed grass (var. occidentale) as seen at the interface between meadow and forest at an old reservoir about one mile uphill from Olive Lake, Umatilla National Forest........July 28, 2013.
The photo above shows a close-up view of the flower of blue-eyed grass (variety idahoense) as seen along Kreps Lane at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge..........May 2006.
The photo above shows a close-up sideview of the flower and upper stem leaf of blue-eyed grass (variety idahoense) as seen along Kreps Lane at Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge.........May 2006.
Blue-eyed grass (var. idahoense) as seen in
wet meadows at one of the heads of Little Cottonwood Creek where the Arizona Creek Road reaches a pass at Stergen Meadows in the Pueblo Mountains.........June 1, 2012. Variety idahoense has flowers generally much wider than 13 mm while variety occidentale generally has flowers less than 13 mm wide.
The photo above shows a close-up sideview of the flower of blue-eyed grass (variety occidentale) as seen along the Blue Mt. Scenic Highway of central Oregon to the west of Ukiah, OR.........June 22, 2007.
Blue-eyed grass (var. occidentale) as seen left at Bandit Springs just southwest of the Ochoco Divide on US 26, Ochoco National Forest........June 23, 2017. The photos at center and right show close-up views of the inflorescence of blue-eyed grass as seen in moist meadows at the junction of Forest Roads 42 and 4240 at the southeastern corner of Big Summit Prairie, Ochoco National Forest..........June 21, 2017.
Blue-eyed grass (var. occidentale) as seen in moist meadows along Rock Creek just upstream from Hot Springs Campground, Hart Mt. National Antelope Refuge........June 9, 2016.