Sisyrinchium - Growing Guide

Growing Sisyrinchium


This species of sisyrinchium is a clump forming, evergreen perennial which is totally hardy. It has iris-like leaves and, to some extent at least, greyish iris-like flower stems. They are perfectly happy in only moderately fertile well drained soils in full sun but, like so many herbaceous border perennials, they rot off easily in excessive winter waterlogging and wet. A little wind scorching on the older leaves may be acceptable after cold winter winds but the whole plant rotting off is something else!

Sisyrinchium are most easily propagated by lifting and division of the many smaller offsets which a decent clump will produce. However, these plants do set plentiful seed which is easy enough to grow in pots or boxes in the cold frame or greenhouse in autumn or spring.

S. striatum has linear two ranked, stiff greyish green leaves about 15in long in a mature clump. They produce upright stems or stalks of another 15in or so in height right through the summer. The flowers on the stems open from the bottom upwards which have many cup-shaped pale-yellow flowers.

S. striatum ‘Aunt May’ (syn. ‘Variegatum’) is slightly less vigorous but with delightful leaves that are irregularly striped creamy-yellow or white. For those who like variegated plants in a border or, perhaps, a border just of variegated plants this is a very good choice!


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