Alphabetical Plant Listing

Olsynium douglasii (Grass Widow)

Grass Widow, Purple-Eyed Grass, Purple Rush Lily, Purple Snowdrop, Spring Bell, Spring Satin Flower, Sisyrinchium douglasii, Sisyrinchium grandiflorum


Olsynium douglasii (Grass Widow) is a clump-forming perennial noted for its dense tuft of narrow, sword-like, light-green leaves and its brilliant, intense reddish-purple flowers in early spring. Bowl-shaped, the satiny, nodding flowers are borne atop upright stems among the rush-like foliage. Grass Widow is a terrific plant for rock gardens or alpine houses.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 10 in. tall (25 cm) and 6 in. wide (15 cm).
  • Performs best in partial shade in moist, humus-rich, moderately fertile, well-drained soils.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in autumn.
  • Occurs mostly west of the Cascade Range, from British Columbia south to northern California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Sisyrinchium
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Height 8" – 10" (20cm – 25cm)
Spread 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada
Garden Uses Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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By Randy Bjorklund / Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 3 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Sisyrinchium
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Height 8" – 10" (20cm – 25cm)
Spread 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spacing 6" (15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Utah, Southwest, Nevada
Garden Uses Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden

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