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Sisyrinchium

This is a discussion on Sisyrinchium within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Since we were talking a bit about iris, I thought you might be interested in ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Sisyrinchium

    Since we were talking a bit about iris, I thought you might be interested in this close relative. Worldwide, there are about 90 species of these annuals and rhizomatous perennials. Most are native to North and South America. The foliage looks very similar to iris, but not quite as rigid or as wide. Basically, they want full sun in poor to moderately fertile soil, well drained.

    Folks in the US are probably most familiar with S. graminoides (Blue-eyed Grass). This is a hardy perennial growing to about 10 inches. It blooms mainly in the spring, but will continue to throw out flowers through most of the summer.

    The other variety often seen in the warmer parts of the US is S. californicum (Yellow-eyed Grass). To me this one looks a bit more like a tiny iris than the Blue-eyed – foliage wise that is. I’ve grown this one several times as an annual because it will flower the first year from seed. It’s really very cute and flower throughout the summer.


    Two others I am also growing are S. striatum and S. arenarium. These are not hardy in my area since they are from South America, so I overwinter them in a south window in an unheated part of my house for winter. It’s worked well. They stay green, but don’t put out new growth until I put them outside in the spring. S. striatum is just getting ready to bloom, so these are not my pics.
    – striatum

    – arenarium


    Except for the first two, seeds of the other varieties seem a bit difficult to find in the US. I think some of these are more widely grown in Europe than here. They definitely are worth growing if you can find them.

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    Thanks for the photos and information , The poor soil got my attention , the soil where I am would make good bricks , it has taken 5 years to get it fit to grow anything in . Here is a laugh , I once cleaned the chicken house out and put it in an area near the front door it got rid of salesmen and others Gin

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    I've never seen or heard of any of these. You must have taken an amazing amount of time, learning, deciding, gathering, planting in the right locations....

    Would love to see pics of your entire garden, Kev. Hear that? Ok. Not ignoring. Asking. And don't forget the breadbox.

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    Kevo,

    I'm compulsive-obsessive through and through, but hell man - you make me seem like an ADD!

    Julie

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    Well, thank you Julie.


    Sorry, got to go. I see tiny pieces of lint on the floor. Must pick 'em NOW. NOW I SAY! NOW!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lja
    I've never seen or heard of any of these. You must have taken an amazing amount of time, learning, deciding, gathering, planting in the right locations.....
    Well, Louis, I *have* seen Sisyrinchium graminoides (or S. montanum, as I learned it--however, I'm pretty sure that's wrong and graminoides is the correct name), but I never heard of anyone growing it. You'd have to really like miniature flowers. This baby does *not* put on a show from any distance! I really like it in spite of its lack of substance, though.

    Kev, are you familiar with Hypoxis hirsuta? Yellow Star-Grass is the common name. It's a lot like a yellow version of Blue-eyed Grass, at least superficially. Not sure if they're related, off the top of my head. HOLD it! Why am I talking off the top of my head, anyway? I have at least one reference book handy. OK, it claims it's actually a member of the Amaryllis family! Who knew?

    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Rob

    Never heard of it. Sounds very cool. Anything in the amaryllis family is usually nice. Do you grow it? Can you tell us about it? (hint, hint)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TundraKev
    Rob

    Never heard of [Hypoxis hirsuta--Yellow Star-Grass]. Sounds very cool. Anything in the amaryllis family is usually nice. Do you grow it? Can you tell us about it? (hint, hint)
    Well, Kev, and anyone else interested, I can't tell you very much about it except it grows wild in my part of the world. It seems to be a prairie plant here, although my literature (H.J. Scoggan's Flora of Manitoba, published in 1957) suggests it's an eastern plant: "se. Sask. to s. Ont. and Mass., s. to Tex. and Fla." Thus, it would seem you should have it growing in your area.

    I've done some Googling. Authorities at different web sites place it in the Amaryllis, Iris AND Lily families! It's a bulb plant and apparently will produce bulb off-sets and grow into a clump.


    Here are a few web-pages with pictures. I should mention most are a bit misleading because it's a tiny plant. Mind you, we orchidists are used to that, n'est ce pas?

    http://epee.goldsword.com/sfarmer/Wi...r/monocot.html

    http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/usa20...01/04jun2001b/

    http://www.nicertutor.com/sketches/spring/prairie/


    Here's one that gives some information on culture! Since it is such a small plant, it makes a good rock garden plant. It notes it comes back faithfully each year, and the clumps in cultivated conditions come to exceed wild ones in size. It seeds itself and small plants will appear near the parent clumps.

    http://www.lcncgarden.org/species/stargrass.htm

    Well, hope this if some use and interest to some people. I did find some sources of seed or plants, but perhaps I shouldn't post them here. Anyway, you're probably better at Googling than I am, so I'm sure you could find some if you're interested in adding it to your garden. (In my opinion, a worthwhile endeavour.)


    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Rob

    Thanks much. It does look like the Yellow-eyed grass. I just took a quick look in my American Horticultural Society gardening book. There it says it grows in zones 5-8 - a North America native. I want it. I love it.

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    Hmm, if it's growing in southern Man & Sask, it's hardy to at least zone three--maybe more like 2. Mind you, I often find I disagree with hardiness zone ratings.


    Cheers,
    Rob

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