Sisyrinchium littorale Greene
shore blue-eyed-grass (Alaska blue-eyed grass)
Iridaceae (Iris family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Virginia Skilton     (Photo ID #3537)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Sisyrinchium littorale
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial slightly tufted herb from a fibrous root; stems 1 or 2, simple or often branched, flat, 2-winged, 10-40 cm tall.
Mostly basal, the blades several, linear, 10-30 cm long, 2-5.5 mm wide, sheathing, the margins entire to fine-toothed, the tips pointed; stem leaves 1 or few at nodes, similar to basal.
Inflorescence of (1) 2 to 4 (5) showy, erect to nodding flowers on slender, smooth, 2- to 2.5-cm long stalks; flowers pale blue to more often deep violet-purple, of 6 distinct, narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblanceolate segments, these similar, 1.1-1.6 cm long, rounded to somewhat blunt, abruptly bristle-tipped, the inflated tubes below, 1-2 mm long; bracts 2, unequal, the outer one usually exceeding the flowers; filaments fused about 1/3 their length; anthers 1.2-1.7 mm long, pale yellow.
Capsules, egg-shaped to globe-shaped, (5) 6-8 (9) mm long; seeds numerous, globe-shaped to angled, dark brown to black, 1.2-1.5 (1.7) mm wide.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Sisyrinchium littorale

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)
5 0 11
Slope Gradient (%)
23 0 75

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

359 359 359
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 1 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

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

CWH(9), MH(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist to wet meadows, streamsides and tidal flats in the lowland zone; infrequent in coastal BC; N to SW AK and S to SW WA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia