Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Sisyrinchium idahoense Bickn.
- Family: Iris (Iridaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: The 2 bracts that subtend each group of flowers are very much different in length. The outer bract is never twice as long as the inner bract. The sepals and petals are narrowly elliptic.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, along streams.
- Habit: Perennial herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, up to 1 3/4 feet tall, not conspicuously winged, smooth, with or without small teeth along the edge.
- Leaves: All or nearly all basal, elongated, flattened, shorter than the flowering stems, up to 1/6 inch wide, with or without small teeth along the edge.
- Flowers: 1-few, purple or blue with a yellow center, in an umber at the tip of the stem, the umber subtended and partially enclosed by a pair of leafy bracts (spathes); outer bract up to 2 1/2 inches long; inner bract up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Sepals and Petals: 6, free from each other, blue or purple with a yellow base, narrowly elliptic, up to 3/4 inch long, tapering to an abrupt point at the tip.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, glandular-hairy.
- Fruits: Capsules obovoid to nearly spherical, up to 1/4 inch long; seeds spherical, up to 1/16 inch in diameter, minutely pitted.
- Notes: There is considerable variation in this species, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish from S. montanum.
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