White Delights ~ Blue-Eyed Grass

 

Members of the Iridaceae, or iris family, at least seven species of Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium spp.) can be found in Texas. Growing from hardy rhizomes, the plants produce a slender, blade-like foliage that resembles grass, giving the plants their common name. 

These early spring flowers generally bloom in various shades of blue, purple, or rose, but white variants occasionally appear. On the same day that I discovered a few unusual white spiderworts in a local vacant lot, I spotted this white version of blue-eyed grass tucked in among them.

The curved peduncle and upright flower brought to mind an Art Nouveau wall sconce; the fact that blue-eyed grass is related to a variety of garden and other irises reminded me of this, from poet Mary Oliver:

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence into which
another voice may speak.
 

Comments always are welcome.





			

Late-Winter Blues

Narrow-leaved blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)

The spring flower known familiarly as blue-eyed grass isn’t a grass at all, but a member of the iris family.  In addition, its ‘eye’ is yellow, rather than blue, but no one seems to care, and blue-eyed grass remains its common name.

Most sources agree on March as the beginning of its bloom period, but this bud and flower were pushing the season a bit when I found them along the edge of FM 227 in Brazoria County on February 3.  The emergence of the flower at a ninety-degree angle is atypical; perhaps the bud was damaged by the cold temperatures.

While buttercups, a very few Texas dandelions, and ten-petal anemones are beginning to appear, this bit of color was a welcome surprise: a reminder that despite the continuing rain, cold, and gloom, spring is coming.



 

Comments always are welcome.