These North American native plants prefer a lot of sun and moderately moist soil,
in meadows, damp fields, or low, open woods.
Plants: These are often mistaken for grasses because
of their very narrow leaves and grass-like height, and of course because of their common
names, but they are actually related to irises.
Stems are broadly winged, ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-5 mm) in width, often branched,
6-18" (15-45 cm) high.
Leaves: Basal, linear, ¹/₁₆-⅛" (2-6 mm) wide
and up to the height of the plant, like
miniature iris leaves.
Flowers: Flowers are blue to purple or white in color, up to
½" (1.3 cm) across, with 3 petals alternating with 3 sepals (the petals and sepals look identical),
so they appears as six-pointed “stars.” Each petal or sepal is ¼-⅜" (7-10 mm) long and tipped with a sharp point. There is a
central yellow patch surrounded by darker blue/purple. Fine darker-colored lines convey nectar to the
center of the flower.
They appear from March to July.
Fruits: A capsule ⅛-¼" (4-7 mm) long, globose
to ovoid, which splits into three sections
to release black, rounded seeds.