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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Iridaceae
Subfamilia: Iridoideae
Tribus: Sisyrinchieae
Genus: Sisyrinchium
Sectiones: (7)
S. sect. Cephalanthum – S. sect. Hydastylus – S. sect. Scirpeocharis – S. sect. Segetia – S. sect. Sipacapa – S. sect. Sisyrinchium – S. sect. Spathirachis – S. sect. Viperella – unassigned
Overview of species

S. abietum – S. acre – S. albidum – S. albilapidense – S. anadenicum – S. andinopatagonicum – S. angustifolium – S. angustissimum – S. annuum – S. antucense – S. aquidaunicum – S. arenarium – S. arguellesiae – S. arizonicum – S. arrayanicum – S. atlanticum – S. avenaceum – S. azureum – S. balansae – S. bellum – S. bermudiana – S. biflorum – S. biforme – S. binervatum – S. brasiliense – S. breviarmium – S. brevipes – S. bromelioides – S. caespitificum – S. caeteanum – S. calathinum – S. californicum – S. campestre – S. capillare – S. cernuum – S. chaguaranicum – S. chapelcoense – S. chilense – S. chiricanum – S. cholewae – S. claritae – S. coalitum – S. commutatum – S. convallium – S. convolutum – S. conzattii – S. coulterianum – S. cuspidatum – S. cylindrocarpium – S. cyperellum – S. dasyspathum – S. decumbens – S. deflexum – S. demissum – S. densiflorum – S. deseadense – S. dichotomum – S. elegantulum – S. elmeri – S. ensigerum – S. eserrulatum – S. exalatum – S. exilifolium – S. fasciculatum – S. fiebrigii – S. firmifolium – S. foliosum – S. funereum – S. fuscatum – S. galapagense – S. glaziovii – S. graminifolium – S. gratissimum – S. groenlandicum – S. guanajuatense – S. halophilum – S. hasslerianum – S. hintoniorum – S. hirsutum – S. hitchcockii – S. hoehnei – S. humidum – S. hypsophilum – S. idahoense – S. igatimiense – S. inclinatum – S. intihuatanense – S. itabiritense – S. ivanii – S. jamesonii – S. johnstonii – S. laetum – S. laevigatum – S. langloisii – S. laterale – S. latiusculum – S. laxum – S. limarinum – S. littorale – S. longipes – S. longispathum – S. luzula – S. macranthum – S. macrocarpum – S. macrophyllum – S. magnicapsulare – S. maipoanum – S. mandonii – S. marchioides – S. martense – S. megapotamicum – S. miamiense – S. micranthum – S. microbracteatum – S. minus – S. minutiflorum – S. montanum – S. mucronatum – S. nanum – S. nashii – S. nembyense – S. nidulare – S. nigricans – S. novoleonense – S. obconicum – S. orbiculatum – S. ostenianum – S. oxyspathum – S. pachyrhizum – S. pallidum – S. palmifolium – S. palustre – S. papillosum – S. paramorum – S. parvifolium – S. parvum – S. patagonicum – S. paucispathum – S. pearcei – S. pendulum – S. piliferum – S. planicola – S. platense – S. platycaule – S. platyphyllum – S. plicatulum – S. praealtum – S. pringlei – S. pruinosum – S. purpurellum – S. pusillum – S. quadrangulatum – S. radicatum – S. rambonis – S. rectilineum – S. rectivalvatum – S. reitzii – S. restioides – S. rigidifolium – S. rosengurttii – S. rosulatum – S. sagittiferum – S. sarmentosum – S. scabrum – S. scalarium – S. scariosum – S. schaffneri – S. schottii – S. sellowianum – S. septentrionale – S. serrulatum – S. setaceum – S. sinuosum – S. soboliferum – S. somuncurense – S. striatum – S. strictum – S. subalpinum – S. subcernuum – S. subnudum – S. subtile – S. tafiense – S. teleanthum – S. tenuifolium – S. tinctorium – S. tofoense – S. tolucense – S. translucens – S. trichanthum – S. tucumanum – S. uliginosum – S. unguiculatum – S. unispathaceum – S. vaginatum – S. valparadiseum – S. venezolense – S. vestitum – S. weirii – S. wettsteinii – S. xerophyllum – S. zamudioi
Source(s) of checklist:

Add (2): S. antemeridianum – S. flabellatum

Sisyrinchium L., Sp. Pl. 2: 954. 1753.

Type species: Sisyrinchium bermudiana L.


Bermudiana Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4: s.p. 1754.
Echthronema Herb., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 29(Misc.): 85. 1843.
Type species: Echthronema tenuifolia (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Herb., vide Goldblatt & al. (1990)
Glumosia Herb., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 39(Misc.): 85. 1843.
Type species: Glumosia palmifolia (L.) Herb.
Hydastylus Dryand. ex Salisb., Trans. Hort. Soc. London 1: 310. 1812.
Type species: non design.
Oreolirion E.P.Bicknell, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 28: 571. 1901.
Type species: Oreolirion arizonicum (Rothr.) E.P.Bicknell
Paneguia Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 34. 1836.
Type species: Paneguia striata (J.E.Sm.) Raf., vide Goldblatt & al. (1990)
Pogadelpha Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 29. 1836.
Type species: Pogadelpha graminifolia (Lindl.) Raf., vide Goldblatt & al. (1990)
Souza Vell., Fl. Flumin. 7: 273, t. 2. 1829.
Type species: Souza marchio Vell., vide Goldblatt & al. (1990)

Native distribution areas:
Primary references

Goldblatt, P. & al. 1990. Systematic Botany 15: 507.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Sisyrinchium in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec. 21. Reference page.
Karst, L.; Wilson, C.A. 2012: Phylogeny of the New World genus Sisyrinchium (Iridaceae) based on analyses of plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data. Systematic botany 37(1): 87–95. DOI: 10.1600/036364412X616666 Reference page.

Vernacular names

العربية: فرائية
беларуская: Блакітнавочка
čeština: Badil
English: Blue-eyed grass
suomi: Silmiöt, kuovinkukat
hrvatski: Rogoz ljiljan
日本語: ニワゼキショウ属
polski: Miecznica
русский: Голубоглазка
svenska: Gräsliljesläktet
中文: 庭菖蒲属

Sisyrinchium is a large genus of annual to perennial flowering plant in the family Iridaceae. Native to the New World, the species are known as blue-eyed grasses and, though not true grasses and in varieties with flower colors other than blue, are monocots.[2]

Several species in the eastern United States are threatened or endangered.


These are not true grasses, but many species have the general appearance of grasses, as they are low-growing plants with long, thin leaves. They often grow on grasslands. Many species resemble irises, to which they are more closely related. Most species grow as perennial plants, from a rhizome, though some are short-lived (e.g. S. striatum), and some are annuals (e.g. S. iridifolium).

The flowers are relatively simple and often grow in clusters.

Many species, particularly the South American ones, are not blue, despite the common name. The genus includes species with blue, white, yellow, and purple petals, often with a contrasting centre. Of the species in the United States, the Western Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium bellum, is sometimes found with white flowers, while the California Golden-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium californicum, has yellow flowers.

The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, based on the species Sisyrinchium bermudiana (commonly called Bermudiana). Sisyrinchíon is the Greek word, recorded by Pliny and Theophrastus, for the Barbary nut iris (Iris or Moraea sisyrinchium), and refers to the way the corm tunics resemble a shaggy goat's-hair coat, sisýra.[3] Authors as early as 1666[4] give the dubious etymology of Latin sūs "pig" and Greek rhynchos "nose", referring to pigs grubbing the roots. As Goldblatt and Manning explain, "the reason for applying the name to a genus of New World Iridaceae was apparently arbitrary."[5]

The taxonomy of this genus is rather perplexing and confusing,[to whom?] as several of these species, such as Sisyrinchium angustifolium, form complexes with many variants named as species. More genetic research and cladistic analysis need to be performed to sort out the relationships between the species. Some species, notably S. douglasii, have been transferred to the separate genus Olsynium.
Selected species
Main article: List of Sisyrinchium species

There are up to 200 species,[6] including:

Sisyrinchium albidum Raf.
Sisyrinchium angustifolium Mill. – narrow-leaf blue-eyed-grass
Sisyrinchium atlanticum E.P.Bicknel - eastern blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium bellum S.Watson – western blue-eyed grass or Californian blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium bermudiana – bermudiana
Sisyrinchium californicum – golden blue-eyed grass, yellow-eyed-grass, and golden-eyed-grass
Sisyrinchium campestre Bickn.
Sisyrinchium dichotomum – wishbone blue-eyed grass, white irisette, and reflexed blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium elmeri – Elmer's blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium funereum – Funeral Mountain blue-eyed grass and Death Valley blue-eyed-grass
Sisyrinchium halophilum – Nevada blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium idahoense Bickn. – Idaho blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium longipes – timberland blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium micranthum – blue pigroot or striped rush-leaf
Sisyrinchium montanum Greene – strict blue-eyed grass, American blue-eyed-grass
Sisyrinchium platense I.M.Johnst
Sisyrinchium pruinosum – spotted blue-eyed grass or dotted blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium rosulatum - white Blue-Eyed Grass Flower with maroon center, found in East Texas
Sisyrinchium sarmentosum – mountain blue-eyed grass and pale blue-eyed-grass
Sisyrinchium septentrionale – northern blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium striatum – pale yellow-eyed-grass or satin flower


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
σισυριγχίον, σισύρα. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
Ambrosini, Giacinto. 1666. Phytologiae
Manning, John; Goldblatt, Peter (2008). The Iris Family: Natural History & Classification. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. pp. 221–25. ISBN 978-0-88192-897-6.

Search for "Sisyrinchium", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-09-22

Rudall, P. J., A. Y. Kenton, and T. J. Lawrence. 1986 - An anatomical and chromosomal investigation of Sisyrinchium and allied genera. Bot. Gaz. 147: 466–477 Ajilvsgi, Geyata. 1984 - Wildflowers of Texas. Library of Congress: 84-50025

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