Strict blue-eyed grass

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. March 2011.

Scientific name: Sisyrinchium montanum Greene

Common name(s): strict blue-eyed grass, common blue-eyed grass, mountain blue-eyed grass, northern blue-eyed grass

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-in the iridaceae family

-leaves are

  • alternate
  • basal
  • linear

-can grow up to 50 cm tall

-Sisyrinchium is distinguished by its outer bract, which is no more than 16 mm longer than the inner bract, and usually fused basally for 4 -6 mm

-has a granular seed coat

-generally flowers in June in ME

-easily confused with S. mucronatum, which has narrower leaves and purplish spathes (bracts surrounding the inflorescence)


-forest edges

-meadows and fields

-river shores



Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.

Go Botany. “Sisyrinchium Montanum Greene.” Sisyrinchium Montanum (Strict Blue-Eyed-Grass): Go Botany, 2020,

Washington Department of Natural Resources. Sisyrinchium Montanum Greene Var.montanum. 2020,