California Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium bellum

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sisyrinchium (sis-ee-RINK-ee-um) (Info)
Species: bellum (BEL-lum) (Info)


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue



Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

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

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

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Brentwood, California

Chico, California

El Sobrante, California

Emerald Lake Hills, California

Malibu, California

Mission Viejo, California

Sacramento, California

Kiowa, Colorado

Shreveport, Louisiana

Eugene, Oregon

Portland, Oregon (2 reports)

Austin, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 13, 2013, ruprecht from Shreveport, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

We live in Shreveport, LA, which is in zone 8b. Blue-eyed grass grows here in considerable profusion. In fact, it is a bit of a weed in my yard, coming up in cracks in the sidewalks everywhere. Clearly, the cold info in the article is off the mark, as the plant ha survived in temps. as low as 15-20 degrees, and this for as long as a week in a row.


On Nov 9, 2013, warriorswisdomkathy from Kiowa, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have the white variety and has overwintered here in Colorado at 6800+ ft ( Z5-6) for a number of it!! Also starts easily from seed, though have not had it occur in the garden yet but indoors under lights. Kathy


On Nov 4, 2013, MulchingMan from Eugene, OR wrote:

This is a nice little perennial from the iris family that's compact enough to fit into a small garden. The grass-like foliage sprouts nice little blue and yellow flowers between winter and late spring. It goes stress deciduous in the mid-summer but comes back when the fall rains return. Cut back the dead foliage in September and you'll be good to go.

Blue-eyed grass likes full-to-part sun, tolerates many different soil types, and can take regular garden water. Once established, it is also drought-tolerant enough to grow in the chaparral in CA. It looks particularly nice in a small pot.


On Apr 5, 2012, naomidavis from Garden Home-Whitford, OR wrote:

This pretty little plant has been slowly spreading in my (zone 8) yard for the last few years, and now I've finally put a name to it! It's been growing wild, thriving on absolutely no attention and surviving the winters here just fine.