4. Sisyrinchium L. (blue-eyed grass)
Plants with fibrous roots, lacking rhizomes. Aerial stems erect or ascending,
flattened, usually somewhat winged. Leaves basal or nearly so below the
inflorescence, few, linear, the leaf blades flat. Inflorescences 1–4 per aerial
stem, sessile or stalked from the axils of leaflike bracts, each with 2–12
flowers enclosed by a pair of spathelike, herbaceous or membranous bracts.
Flowers with stalks 8–18 mm long. Perianth 5–12 mm long, spreading, white to
blue or purple, rarely light yellow, usually with a well-developed white or
light yellow “eye” at the base, the sepals and petals similar and fused at the
bases, oblanceolate with the tips abruptly narrowed into an attenuate tip,
sometimes with the attenuation protruding from an apical notch. Styles with 3
linear lobes. Stamens with the filaments fused to the tips or nearly so.
Capsules 2–6 mm long, globose. Seeds black, globose. Sixty to 100 species,
North America to South America, with a single circumboreal species also in
Europe and Asia.