PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

California Golden-Eyed Grass, Yellow-Eyed Grass, Golden Blue-Eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium californicum

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sisyrinchium (sis-ee-RINK-ee-um) (Info)
Species: californicum (kal-ih-FOR-nik-um) (Info)
Synonym:Sisyrinchium boreale
Synonym:Sisyrinchium brachypus

Category:

Perennials

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arroyo Grande, California

Castro Valley, California

Clayton, California

Fairfield, California

Richmond, California

Barbourville, Kentucky

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Gold Hill, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Mc Kean, Pennsylvania

Freeland, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Sep 16, 2013, mehitabel45 from Whidbey Island, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This little spring/summer flower is just the thing to accent the blues and purples and reds I love in my garden. The little yellow flowers are like stars, blooming for a day or so, and quickly replaced by more. Keep it deadheaded for longer blooming.
It's nowhere near 24" tall, as per the description above. Maybe 10" in the sun, shorter in partial shade. It gently self-seeds itself around, and I quickly lift it and put it in other spots. I've had it for 4 summers, and it has made it into some perennial window boxes here, too. Easy to propagate when you want more, even easier to weed out if it's in the wrong place. Not invasive at all here. Fabulous for borders.

Positive

On Sep 8, 2011, Domehomedee from Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I'm on the central coast of California in zone 8b and this little plant does well here. It multiplies yearly by seeds and it stays tidy with little care. The leaves grow like a fan with the yellow flower coming up in the middle. Mine flower yearly in summer with average watering. They do like sun but I have some in the shade and they still flower. The seed does not germinate well in the shade.

Neutral

On Jun 1, 2009, plutodrive from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Sisyrinchium californicum appreciates moist to wet conditions in spring and somewhat drier conditions in midsummer through winter. This will increase longevity as well.

Positive

On Jan 28, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

My information says Yellow-Eyed Grass is hardy in zones 7-11, but so far, it has been hardy here in zone 5! I have been told that our area is now unofficially zone 6, but even so, that's out of the range. Another name for it is Yellow Stone.

Positive

On Apr 25, 2004, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

This is a native California species from Monterey county and north. Will grow in any soil, likes wet marshy conditions and spreads readily. It comes up all over the garden from year to year, but is easily removed. Blooms mid-late spring.

Neutral

On Aug 18, 2002, Baa wrote:

A short lived, semi-evergreen perennial from Western North America.

Has fans of sword shaped, greyish green leaves. Bears yellow with dark veins, star shaped flowers borne in succession.

Flowers July-September

Loves slightly moist, well-drained, poorish soils in full sun although they will tolerate some light shade. Dislikes winter wet.

It's never overwintered here but then I bought it labelled as a bog plant which while it will tolerate moist soil it doesn't like to be constantly wet. While grubbing out the pot this spring I was surprised to find numerous tiny seedling fans and promptly repotted them. All have flowered and produced seed pods which will be dutifully collected to stem the invasion!