Overview

Comprehensive Description

Sisyrinchium angustifolium Mill.

Distribution

Wet pine flatwoods (WPF-T), wet pine savannas (WLPS, VWLPS).

Notes

Occasional. Mar–Jun ; May–Jul . Thornhill 195, 1401 (NCSC). [= RAB, FNA, Weakley]

  • Thornhill, Robert, Krings, Alexander, Lindbo, David, Stucky, Jon (2014): Guide to the Vascular Flora of the Savannas and Flatwoods of Shaken Creek Preserve and Vicinity (Pender & Onslow Counties, North Carolina, U. S. A.). Biodiversity Data Journal 2, 1099: 1099-1099, URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e1099
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Plazi

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Comments

This is a pretty plant while in bloom, and it has neat foliage. Distinguishing different species of Blue-Eyed grass can be rather difficult. Stout Blue-Eyed Grass has leaves that are slightly broader than most species of Blue-Eyed Grass, and it occasionally produces flowers from long secondary stalks, as shown in the lower photograph. The flowers are consistently deep blue-violet, rather than pale blue or white. Only a single spathe with an umbel of flowers is produced from a flowering stalk, while Sisyrinchium albidum (White Blue-Eyed Grass) produces two spathes. If you find a Blue-Eyed Grass with blue-violet flowers in a wooded area, this is the species that you are probably looking at. Other Sisyrinchium spp. in Illinois prefer sunnier habitats in either prairies or moist sandy meadows. Return
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Description

This native perennial plant is about ½–1' tall. It has a loose tuft of basal leaves that emerge directly from the ground. They are green in the shade and often bluish or greyish green in the sun. These basal leaves are linear with parallel venation and up to 1/6" across; they resemble short narrow Iris leaves. Among the leaves, there develops occasional flowering stalks with umbels of blue-violet flowers. These flowering stalks are usually more narrow than the leaves, but they are same height or slightly taller. Each stalk terminates in a long leaf-like bract, from which a spathe with a pair of short bracts will develop. This spathe may be sessile, or it may develop from a long secondary stalk (a peduncle).
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Stout Blue-Eyed Grass is widely distributed in Illinois, but less common or absent in many NW counties (see Distribution Map). This species can be found occasionally in moist to mesic black soil prairies, but it is more common in habitats with woody vegetation. These habitats include floodplain forests, thickets, woodland borders and openings, moist oak savannas, and the slopes of rivers. This plant usually occurs in grassy areas, as broad-leaved forbs tend to crowd it out.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Southeast Canada west to Idaho, south to Florida and Texas.

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Nfld. and Labr. (Labr.), N.S., Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Herbs, perennial, cespitose, dark olive green to bronze or blackish when dry, to 4.5 dm, not glaucous. Stems branched, with 1–2 nodes, 2.3–5 mm wide, glabrous, margins often minutely denticulate especially basally, similar in color and texture to stem body; first internode 10–30 cm, usually longer than leaves; distalmost node with 1–3 branches. Leaf blades glabrous, bases not persistent in fibrous tufts. Inflorescences borne singly; spathes usually green, obviously wider than supporting branch, glabrous, keels denticulate to entire; outer 18–38 mm, 2–9.5 mm longer than inner, usually tapering evenly towards apex, margins basally connate 4–6 mm; inner with keel evenly curved or straight, hyaline margins 0.1–0.3 mm wide, apex acuminate to acute, ending 0.2–0.7 mm proximal to green apex. Flowers: tepals pale blue to violet, occasionally white, bases yellow; outer tepals 7.7–12.5 mm, apex rounded or emarginate, aristate; filaments connate ± entirely, stipitate-glandular basally; ovary similar in color to foliage. Capsules dark brown or black, sometimes with purplish tinge, ± globose, 4–7 mm; pedicel spreading or ascending. Seeds globose to obconic, lacking obvious depression, 0.5–1.2 mm, rugulose. 2n = 96.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Sisyrinchium graminoides E. P. Bicknell
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Stout Blue-Eyed Grass is widely distributed in Illinois, but less common or absent in many NW counties (see Distribution Map). This species can be found occasionally in moist to mesic black soil prairies, but it is more common in habitats with woody vegetation. These habitats include floodplain forests, thickets, woodland borders and openings, moist oak savannas, and the slopes of rivers. This plant usually occurs in grassy areas, as broad-leaved forbs tend to crowd it out.
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Comments: Open or marginal deciduous woods and in moist prairies.

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Moist meadows, stream banks, swamp edges, sandy meadows, moist open woods; 0--800m.
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Associations

Faunal Associations

Halictine bees are probably the most important visitors of the flowers, where they collect pollen or suck nectar. Bumblebees, other kinds of bees, and bee flies are less frequent visitors seeking nectar, while Syrphid flies feed on pollen or suck nectar. The seeds and other parts of this plant are eaten to a limited extent by the Greater Prairie Chicken and Wild Turkey.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Stout Blue-Eyed Grass in Illinois

Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Stout Blue-Eyed Grass)
(Short-tongued bees collect pollen and suck nectar; other insects suck nectar; observations are from Robertson; this information also includes observations for Sisyrinchium gramineum)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Bombini): Bombus auricomus sn, Bombus griseocallis sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada superba superba sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia pumila sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella aurata sn cp, Augochlorella striata sn cp fq, Halictus confusus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp, Lasioglossum pruinosus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena cressonii sn cp

Flies
Syrphidae: Helophilus latifrons sn, Sphaerophoria contiqua sn, Toxomerus marginatus; Bombyliidae: Bombylius atriceps sn

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring--early summer.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Sisyrinchium angustifolium

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread range: southeast Canada west to Idaho, south to Florida and Texas.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full or partial sun and moist to average conditions. Growth is best in a rich loam that is high in organic material. Light shade is also tolerated, but flowers will be fewer in number. The plants are fairly easy to grow under these conditions, and will gradually form larger clumps. Foliar disease doesn't appear to bother this and other species of blue-eyed grass.
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Wikipedia

Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Sisyrinchium angustifolium, commonly known as narrow-leaf blue-eyed grass,[2] is a herbaceous perennial growing from rhizomes, native to moist meadow and open woodland. It is the most common blue-eyed grass of the eastern United States, and is also cultivated as an ornamental.

Range: Eastern Canada and US, west to Texas and Minnesota, in meadows, low woods, and shorelines.

Height: 15–50 centimetres (6–20 in). Stem: broadly winged, 2–4 millimetres (0.08–0.16 in) wide, usually branched. Leaves: 2–6 millimetres (0.08–0.24 in) wide. Tepals: 6, blue, 7–10 millimetres (0.3–0.4 in), each tipped with a sharp point, veined, and darkening toward central yellow patch.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  • Flora of North America
  • Rhoads, Ann F., Timothy A. Block, and Anna Anisko (Illustrator). The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual, Second edition (2007). University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-4003-0
  • Gleason, Henry A. and Cronquist, Arthur (1991) Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, Second Edition. The New York Botanical Garden Press. ISBN 0-89327-365-1.
  • Thierer, John W., Niering, William A., and Olmstead, Nancy C. (2001) National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region, Revised Edition. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-40232-2.
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Notes

Comments

Sisyrinchium membranaceum E. P. Bicknell probably belongs here; Bicknell indicated that its relationship was “with S. graminoides” and his description falls within that of S. angustifolium, except for slightly shorter spathe bracts. 

 In previous floras, Sisyrinchium angustifolium often has been confused with S. montanum, especially when S. graminoides was segregated. Branching seems to be the primary point of confusion. The original descriptions of S. angustifolium and S. graminoides clearly indicated branching while that of S. montanum indicates it to be single-stemmed. There is some slight similarity between S. montanum var. crebrum and S. angustifolium with respect to spathe connation and dry color, and chromosome counts indicate that both have 2n = 96, but there is some indication that breeding barriers may exist (D. B. Ward 1959).

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