E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Sisyrinchium montanum Greene
mountain blue-eyed-grass (strict blue-eyed grass)
Iridaceae (Iris family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #56315)

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Distribution of Sisyrinchium montanum
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Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum

Species Information

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Perennial tufted herb from a fibrous root; stems several, simple or rarely branched, flat, 2-winged, 10-50 cm tall.
Mostly basal, the blades several, linear, 10-30 cm long, 1-3.7 mm wide, sheathing, the margins entire to finely toothed, the tips long-pointed; stem leaves 1 or few at the nodes, similar to basal.
Inflorescence of (1) 2 to 5 (6) showy, erect to nodding flowers on slender, smooth, 2- to 2.5-cm long stalks; flowers blue to more often blue-purple, of 6 distinct, broadly elliptic to oblanceolate segments, these similar, 1-1.2 cm long, rounded to somewhat blunt, notched, abruptly bristle-tipped, the tubes slightly inflated below, 1-2 mm long; bracts 2, unequal, the outer one exceeding the flowers; filaments fused about 1/3 their length; anthers (1) 1.5-1.7 mm long, yellow.
Capsules, egg-shaped to globe-shaped, (3) 4.5-6 (7) mm long; seeds numerous, globe-shaped to angled, black, 1-1.5 mm wide.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows and streambanks in the steppe and montane zones; frequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; E to AB and S to CO, WY and MT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Sisyrinchium montanum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 780 998 1460
Slope Gradient (%) 0 8 45
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
16 147 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 4 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(3), BWBS(1), IDF(30), MS(1), PP(1), SWB(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Sisyrinchium bermudiana var. crebrum (Fernald) B. Boivin
Sisyrinchium montanum subsp. crebrum (Fernald) Böcher
Sisyrinchium montanum var. montanum Greene

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References