BLUE-EYED GRASS Sisyrinchium atlanticum

As summer descends upon us, we join with the psalmist who wrote, “On the glorious splendor of Thy majesty, And on Thy wonderful works, I will meditate” (Psalm 145:5).

Allow me to lead you to a wonderful work of The Creator that is not as evident about us as the flashy wildflowers such as periwinkles, violets and dandelions.


Sisyrinchium atlanticum

Most varieties of blue-eyed grass look like tall grass 15 to 20 inches high. One rarely thinks of looking at grass to see if it is blooming, but blue-eyed grass does bloom. The small blue or violet-blue flowers with yellow centers measure about 1/2 inch across. The flower has six petals each with a thorn-like point, though one botanist declares there are only three petals and the other three are bracts.

Blue-eyed grass has long narrow leaves that look like blades of grass; however, they aren’t grass at all because the plants are in the Iris Family. The leaves range from 4 inches to 20 inches in length and are about 1/4 inch at their widest.

You will find blue-eyed grass in moist areas of meadows or low lying woods sometime between May and July. The best specimens of this wildflower that I have seen are at Panola State Park, near the visitor’s center.

There are at least eight varieties of blue-eyed grass in Georgia. The one featured today is the Eastern Blue-eyed Grass. The others include the white variety (S. albidum), narrowleaf blue-eyed grass (S. angustifolium), needle blue-eyed grass (S. capillare), coastal plain blue-eyed grass (S. fuscatum), roadside blue-eyed grass (S. langloisii), needletip blue-eyed grass (S. mucronatum) and Nash’s blue-eyed grass (S. nashii). For greater detail of their location, search USDA Plants on the web.

In the introduction I noted that blue-eyed grass was not an evident or flashy part of our landscape. However, with at least eight different plants in this kingdom, I am challenged to look more closely hereafter and to spend more time meditating on the wonders of God’s creation.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. To purchase a two-volume set of books featuring his wildflower columns, visit The Sketching Pad in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697.

Email him at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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