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Sisyrinchium (angustifolium)

Jan Schultz
Forest Plant Ecologist
USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest
1030 Wright Street
Marquette, Michigan 49855
906.228.4484 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Iridaceae
Family Common Name: Iris Family
Scientific Name: Sisyrinchium angustifolium Miller
Common Name: Blue-eyed grass
Species Code: SIAN3
General Distribution: Moist shores, meadows, fields, thickets, and swales; forest borders, grassy clearings.Flowers are small and delicate and yet very showy. Dark purple blue with yellow centers. 12"-15" in height.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 0
Propagule Collection: Seed is collected by hand from locally native plants within the eastern central Upper Peninsula. Flowers from May-July. Seed is black, globular, pitted and is harvested in August-September.
Propagule Processing: Dry seeds for 1 to 2 weeks in open paper bags or open Rubbermaid-style bins. Once seeds have dried begin stratification. Seeds are not cleaned.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Stratification: Seal the seeds in a Ziploc-style bag or a Rubbermaid-style container in equal amounts of seeds to perlite or vermiculite and add just enough water to moisten the entire mixture. Store in a refrigerator or cold garage (42 degrees F or colder) for at least three months. Cold store until planted (up to 3 years).
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse film is made of Standard U.V. 3HL Clear 6 mil from (J.R. Johnson's Greenhouse Supply Inc.) Fans run continuously to circulate the air. Vents open during the summer months to allow for cooling. Container Type: Blue-eyed grass grows best in 14"x8.5" trays having 24 cells, each cell being 2" in diameter and 4" deep. Growing Media: Scotts Redi-earth Plug and Seedling Mix. Contains vermiculite,and sphagnum peat moss. Soil is sterile.
Add enough water to the soil to saturate. Mix soil with a trowel. Cover the holes in the botton/sides of the plug tray cells with newspaper, as the soil will fall through. Fill cells with damp soil and press soil down with a spoon. Refill the cell plugs with soil to the top, this time not pressing it down. Thoroughly moisten the soil in the plug cells, but do not saturate. Sow the seeds by hand at a rate of about 3 seeds in each cell. Do not cover the seeds with soil as they need light to germinate. Sow year-round due to variable germination rates. This species grows relatively slowly with about 10% of seeds germinating.
Establishment Phase: From Jan. to Aug. the greenhouse thermostat is set at 65 degree F both day and night. Ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 100 degrees F during the day in the summer. From Sept. through Dec. the thermostat is set at 55 degrees F. During this season ambient greenhouse temperatures may reach 75 degrees F during the day. The greenhouse holds plants at all stages of growth so the temperature setting stays the same for all plants at all stages of growth. Soil is kept consistently damp during germination. Water using a fine mist or light hose setting only. Newly planted trays are placed on the south side of the greenhouse. No artificial light is used.
Active Growth Phase: The soil does not need to be consistently moist. Move trays to cooler north greenhouse tables. No fertilizers are used.
Hardening Phase: In early-late spring, mature plants can be moved into a cold frame with a cover of material that diffuses sunlight to prevent scorching of the plants. When danger of frost has passed leave plants outside. Water less frequently.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: In the Upper Peninsula, flats are out-planted from late May to early October. Flats that are not planted in the summer remain in the greenhouse for another season. Transplant into larger containers if needed.
Other Comments: Individual plants exist five or more years.


Schultz, Jan; Beyer, Patty; Williams, Julie. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Sisyrinchium angustifolium Miller plants USDA FS - Hiawatha National Forest Marquette, Michigan. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/01/20). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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