Iridaceae / Iris
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Similar Species: Plants that do
not have branched stems:
Strict Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium montanum) can reach 61cm (24") in height and has blue-violet flowers about 2.5cm (1") wide. It is a more northern species and is found only in the mountains in our area.
Needletip Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium mucronatum) reaches 40cm (16") in height. The leaves are only 0.2cm (.075") wide and shorter than the very narrow stems. It is found only in the northern part of our area.
Prairie Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium campestre) reaches 50cm (20") and has a flat stem and leaves to 0.3cm (0.125") wide. The flowers are white or light blue and less than 2.5cm (1") wide. It is common in the Midwestern prairies and found south to Louisiana and Texas.
Species that may have branched stems: (not all stems will be branched)
Narrowleaf Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is a very common species that can reach 50cm (20") in height . The stem is distinctly winged and the flower stalks are longer than the leaves. The leaves are usually over 0.3cm (.125") wide. Eastern Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium atlanticum ) has less prominent wings on the stem and leaves less than 0.3cm (.125") wide. The stems are longer than the leaves and the blue flowers are about 2.5cm (1") wide.
Annual Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium rosulatum) is an annual which reaches only 15cm (6") in height and has spreading leaves that are only 0.25cm (0.1") wide and 6.5cm (3") long. The violet flowers are only 1cm (0.4") wide. It grows mainly on the coastal plain from North Carolina to Florida and west to Texas.
Jeweled Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium xerophyllum) grows in Florida pine woods and scrub. It often grows to 60cm (2") in height and has flowers 2.5cm (1") wide.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Monocots / One Seed Leaf