Sunday, May 13, 2012

My New Pair of Bloomers

Two of the newest plants in my native landscaping have flowered for the first time, so I thought I would share a few pictures of this brand new pair of bloomers.

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)

First up:
Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)

This plant is not a true grass at all, but a relative of the Iris.  The plant is native to the western United States, and the flowers are variable. 

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)
The flowers close in the evening, and the stems have little joints which allow the flower to stand upright even when the stem falls over. (Like the stems to the right in the photo below.)

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)
These were planted in February, and I wasn't sure if the tiny, bare root plants would produce blooms this year.

Flower: Blue/purple, with yellow center (variable)
Blooms: March-May
At Maturity: 1 1/2' H x 2' W
Location: Fulls sun to part shade, dry to seasonally wet

I planted some Yellow-eyed Grass at the same time (Sisyrinchium californicum) but it has not bloomed yet.  Yellow-eyed Grass looks just like Blue-eyed Grass but the flowers are solid yellow.

My Blue and Yellow-eyed Grasses were purchased at the annual native plant sale held by East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (EMSWCD).  They have some great online Native Plant Resources if you'd like info on selecting and finding native plants for your yard.

Nevada buckwheat (Eriogonium umbellatum) var. nevadense

My second new bloomer was purchased at the Tryon Creek Trillium Festival and plant sale in 2011.  So this is it's second spring in the ground, but it didn't bloom last year.

 It's called Nevada buckwheat (Eriogonium umbellatum) var. nevadense.

 This plant is not native to the Willamette Valley, but it is found in drier, sunnier areas east of the Cascades, and in other western states.  I wanted to give it a shot in my yard because it gets a lot of full sun, and I figured the plant would do well with no water in the summer.

Nevada buckwheat (Eriogonium umbellatum) var. nevadense

Looks like it's doing OK!

Flower: Bright Yellow, suffused with red
Blooms: May-July
At Maturity: 1' H x 1 1/2' W
Location: Well drained soil, PS-Sun

Nevada buckwheat - Blooms fully opened
Here's another good resource for NW gardeners interested in using more native plants:

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