Sisyrinchium bellum. Although its leaves are low growing and grass-like, Western Blue-Eyed Grass is more closely related to an iris than members of the grass family. This perennial is a very useful ground cover for shadier areas, as it prefers partial shade. It is quite variable in height, depending on soil and light, but stays within a height range of 10-40cm (4-16"). It is thought to be native to Oregon and California, but it also occurs at higher altitudes, and can be found as far south as Baja California. The numerous, small, tidy flowers appear from spring into mid-summer. It works well in containers, and it looks amazing in mass plantings, but it does not stand up to foot traffic.
Grow Sisyrinchium once, and the common name of Blue-Eyed Grass will make complete sense. The leaves of this low growing perennial are quite grass-like, and in summer it comes alive with very delicate blue flowers that seem to appear out of nowhere. Below are some top tips on how to grow Sisyrinchium from seeds.
Low growing perennial that thrives in partial shade
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Zone: 3 – 10
Germination can be slow, and the seeds benefit from vernalization. Sow premoistened flats and seal them in plastic bags. Refrigerate for two to three weeks. Then move the flats outdoors to a shady location after all threat of frost has passed. Transplant as seedlings appear.
Sow seeds 2mm (1/8″) deep. Germination can take 30 to 180 days, so be patient.
Transplant after last frost into average, well drained soil. Sisyrinchium grows well in most situations, but it excels in moist, well-drained, fertile soil with pH of 6.5 – 7.8.