Idaho blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium idahoense var. macounii (S. angustifolium auct non Mill., S. macounii Bickn. = var. macounii)
Showy, tufted perennial to 40 cm tall; stems usually flattened and wing-margined. Leaves mostly basal, long (to 20cm).and very narrow (< 2 mm broad). Flowers blue to purplish-blue often with a yellow "eye", small (about 2 cm across) and in a terminal cluster of one to five flowers above a pair of sheathing, leaf-like bracts. Fruits egg-shaped capsules to 6 mm long, with black seeds (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994). Photo by Jen Pukkonen.
Moist to wet grassy meadows, vernal seepage areas, marshes, roadside ditches; at low to middle elevations (Pojar and MacKinnon 1994).
Fine to well-drained.
Tolerates poor soil conditions (Tenenbaum et al., 1994).
soil reaction salinity
Mildly acidic to alkaline (pH 5.5 to 7.5) (Henderson, 1976).
Dry to fresh (Tenenbaum et al., 1994).
Full sun to partial shade (Tenenbaum et al., 1994).
Considered a "weedy" species and a good colonizer (Alverson, 2002).
bec zone subzone status
No information but probably a component of moister meadows in Garry oak ecosystems.
Possible reclamation species in moister pockets in selected sites (Winters, 2002).
Solitary bees of the family Megachilidae are mainly responsible for cross-pollination in natural populations (Henderson, 1976).
Mass-plant to create a showy display in a border or a rock garden (Tenenbaum et al., 1994).
May to July
fruit ripening time
July to September
seed collection time
August to September
collection and abstraction
Collect capsules by hand when ripe into collecting bags. Allow to dry further and then shake bags to extract seeds (Schultz et al., 2001).
Cold store at 5º C for up to three years (Schultz et al., 2001).
fruit seed dormancy treatment
Seal seeds in a Ziploc-style bag or a Rubbermaid-style container in equal amounts of seed to perlite or vermiculite, and add just enough water to moisten the mixture. Cold stratify at 5º C for 8 to 12 weeks (Schultz et al., 2001).
Excellent propagation success rates achieved through plant division. For greatest success, divide plant clumps in the spring.
additional info and photos
For more information and pictures, visit the E-Flora BC website at www.eflora.bc.ca.