Sisyrinchium 'Quaint and Queer'
Common Name: sisyrinchium 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Milk chocolate brown
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Prefers consistently moist soils that do not dry out, but drainage must be good. Plantings may be sheared back after bloom to tidy foliage for remaining part of the growing season. Plants may need to be divided every 2-3 years to keep plantings vigorous.

'Quaint and Queer' is only winter hardy to USDA Zone 6, so it needs a protected location and winter mulch in the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sisyrinchium is a genus of about 90 species of annuals and perennials native to North and South America. Although their foliage is grass-like, the blue-eyed grasses belong to the iris family not the grass family.

Genus name comes from the ancient Greek name for another plant.

'Quaint and Queer' is a vigorous, clump-forming perennial which features a 6" tall clump of flat, narrow, linear, iris-like, green foliage. Flowers appear on flattened stems rising just above the foliage to 9-10" in late spring. Flower color is described variably as (1) yellow centered with outer dull purple tepals to (2) yellowish-brown to (3) milk chocolate brown. The usual Sisyrinchium flower colors are blue, white or yellow.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Best in groups or massed in rock gardens, border fronts or open woodland gardens. Also effective as an edger along paths or walkways. Foliage clumps are quite attractive when the flowers are not in bloom.