Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

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

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


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:

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

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4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive mehitabel45 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 Domehomedee 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 plutodrive 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 Gabrielle 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 Happenstance 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 Baa 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!


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

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