Olsynium douglasii (A. Dietr.) E.P. Bicknell
satinflower (Douglas' blue-eyed-grass (var. douglasii); Douglas' grasswidow; purple blue-eyed-grass (var. inflatum))
Iridaceae (Iris family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #15413)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Olsynium douglasii
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Olsynium douglasii

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)
264 31 1125
Slope Gradient (%)
30 0 84

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

15 23 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 1 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(14), IDF(2)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Sisyrinchium douglasii A. Dietr
Sisyrinchium inalatum A. Nelson