White-eyed grass

White Blue-eyed Grass;
or, White-eyed Grass


"Blue-eyed grass in the meadow,
A linnet's nest near by,
Blackbirds caroling clearly
Somewhere between earth & sky."

-Mary Austin
(1868-1934)

   

When you encounter someone at a farmer's market selling lots of a given potted plant, you can be pretty certain it is something that will spread fairly rapidly.

And indeed Sisyrinchium angustifolium forma album which we obtained at a small-town Saturday market self-seeds very easily in its vicinity, in addition to the parent clump spreading rhizomitously year by year & wanting division as often as every other year in late winter/early spring, or in autumn.

The white form of this species of blue-eyed grass is void of blue, hence more sensibly called White-eyed Grass. The species is also known as Narrowleaf or Stout Blue-eyed Grass, native to the whole eastern half of the United States. The flowers are a mite smaller than the blue varieties we have, but the grassy clump is no less floriferous.

'Album's' starry blooms have three petals & three identical-looking sepals, with yellow center. These rise above the slim grassy fans of foliage, eight or ten inches tall. It blooms May or early June until mid-summer. Flowers are followed by green pods two-thirds the size of peas.

Suited to zones 4 through 9, it wants a sunny position in moderately moist sharply draining soil, except that it will want a bit of droughtiness during dormancy. It tolerates poor soil but grows more rapidly in an organically rich soil. It is not fussy about soil pH, doing fine in slightly acidic, neutral, or slightly alkaline soil.

   



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