Thursday, March 31, 2011
Annual Blue-eyed Grass - Sisyrinchium rosulatum
To be truthful, annual blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium rosulatum) is a lawn weed, but an interesting one with some beauty. The photos above were taken in my yard - in a patch of mixed surviving turf grass and lawn weeds that Alexa and I have not quite gotten around to landscaping properly. There has to be some kind of future project - right?
Although there seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding this species in the accounts I have looked up online, annual blue-eyed grass is not native to Florida (or anywhere else in North America), but was introduced from South America. It has become established throughout the Southeast, from Texas to the Carolinas and is found statewide in Florida.
As its common name suggests, this is an annual - producing large numbers of seed after its spring-blooming display. The leaves are very similar to those of narrowleaf blue-eyed grass (S. angustifolium) - the species most commonly sold by commercial nurseries in Florida, except that they are more prostrate to the ground. Because of this, the plants go largely unnoticed except when in flower.
The flowers are typical of the genus, but tiny; rarely wider than 1/4 inch. The color can vary. Typical colors are those shown in the accompanying photos above and yellow; both forms with the same purple-lined yellow throat.
This is one introduced species not likely to take over the state and I enjoy seeing it each spring. If it appears in your lawn, you can make up your own mind as to whether you should remove it or not.