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

Olsynium douglasii var. inflatum (A. Dietr.) E.P. Bicknell (Suksd.) Cholewa & Douglass M. Hend.
satinflower (inflated grasswidow)
Iridaceae (Iris family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #28626)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Olsynium douglasii var. inflatum
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Species Information

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Perennial tufted herb from a fibrous root; stems somewhat compressed, simple, 10-30 cm tall.
Basal leaves reduced, bractlike, blades lacking or sometimes 1-2 cm long; stem leaves 2 to 4, linear, on the lower 1/2 of stem, sheathing, the blades 10-30 cm long, 1.5-3 mm wide, the tips long-pointed.
Inflorescence of (1) 2 or 3 showy, nodding flowers on slender, flexuous, 3- to 4-cm long stalks; flowers reddish-purple, of 6 distinct oblanceolate to egg-shaped segments, these similar, 1.5-2.5 cm long, 5-nerved, abruptly pointed, the tubes slightly inflated below, 1-2 mm long; bracts 2, unequal, the upper one usually exceeding the flowers; filaments fused about 1/3 to 1/2 their length; anthers 3-7 mm long, yellow.
Capsules, 5-9 mm long; seeds numerous, egg-shaped, brown, 1.5-2.5 mm long.
Two varieties occur in BC

1. Perianth segments dark red-purple; filament tubes only slightly enlarged above the base; flowers commonly 2 per stem; plants of SW BC .....................var. douglasii

1. Perianth segments pale purple; filament tubes with an inflated area just above the base; flowers commonly 3 per stem; plants of SC BC.......................... var. inflatum (Suksd.) Cholewa & Henderson

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Vernally moist rocky bluffs, grassy slopes and Quercus garryana woodlands in the lowland zone (var. douglasii) and sagebrush slopes in the montane zone (var. inflatum); var. douglasii - infrequent on S Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands; var. inflatum - rare in SC BC; var. douglasii - S to N CA; var. inflatum - S to UT, NV and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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 douglasii var. inflatum (Suksd.) P.K. Holmgren
Sisyrinchium inflatum (Suksd.) H. St. John

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References