Sisyrinchium atlanticum: Eastern blue-eyed grass

Sisyrinchium atlanticum, aka eastern blue-eyed grass

This species of the Iridaceae family is native to the eastern North America and ranges from Maine south to Florida and Mississippi. It is also native to the eastern provinces of Canada. The preferred habitat is “moist sandy shores and grasslands” and apparently my ditch at the bottom of the hill meets the criteria. Sand washes down from the gravel and rock above and it is definitely moist as well as an abundant grower of grass.

They can grow to a height of 1 to 1 1/2 feet. The flowers are blue or deep blue-violet with yellow centers, blooming March-July. Native Americans used the roots to make tea for diarrhea in children and the plants to make tea for worms or stomachaches. Some of the species are used as laxatives (Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Easter and Central North America, 2000, Foster, S. & Duke, J. A.).

And yes, it will grow right in the midst of poison ivy, which is abundant along the ditch at the bottom of the hill, where it branches out from the trees it loves to entwine. I need a goat, because while raccoons may eat everything else not caged on this hillside, they don’t seem to care for poison ivy. Cannot really blame them, can we?

PS: Betty, I will add a few stems of Sisyrinchium atlanticum to the flower vase for dinner.

This entry was posted in Acts of Restorative Kindness, Ecosystem, Mississippi, Wildflowers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Sisyrinchium atlanticum: Eastern blue-eyed grass

  1. peggy says:

    I have not seen these blue flowers in my area, but I see plenty of poison ivy. I have had many good cases of poison ivy on my skin so I am careful around it. I can’t think of any animal that eats poison ivy. I do not see the goats next door eating any poison ivy.


    • Suzassippi says:

      So far, never had any cases in the 18 years we have been here now, but then, I do not venture into the woods either, where it is most prolific. I am very careful with what I do not know, so it has been a major education in plants to live here!
      Goats are among the animals that will eat poison ivy. UCLA and North Carolina State University have published on it, and there are businesses that specialize in targeted goat grazing to control poison ivy. I have been advised before to get goats to help with the kudzu problem, but I am not certain I want to become a goat herder.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These sweet little treasurers were abundant where I grew up in New England, but I haven’t seen them for some time where I live now. So pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Betty says:

    Oh, that will be a beautiful table! The purples and the silver compliment each other so well. I love sprinkling of these tiny, bright purple flowers. Love the yellow in the middle and the pointed tips of each petal. When viewed closely, each flower is a work of art!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I wonder if I’ve seen this without knowing what it was. I’ll be looking! Lovely photos!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Sisyrinchium atlanticum: Eastern blue-eyed grass ā€” Suzassippi’s Lottabusha County Chronicles | Ups Downs Family History

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