Yellow Sisyrinchium

James Waddick
Sat, 22 Jun 2013 10:03:24 PDT
Dear PBSers,

	Over the years I have tried a few yellow flowered Sisyrinchium with very mixed to poor results. 

	The first to try were S. striatum and its variegated form 'Aunt May'. This looks very much like small iris with a prominent spike of pale yellow flowers. The variegated cv is listed as 'Aunt May' on the RHS site, but it has also been known as 'Aunt Mae' and just 'variegata. I think it is one of the nicest variegated irids and I grew it just for the foliage. Here it only survived in pots where it was a good grower. In the ground it barely survived a winter and never returned to vigor. 

	After an inquiry on PBS I received seed of two other very hardy S. American Sisyrinchium to try. 

	S. patagonicum was the first to bloom. The plant looked like a miniature blue eyed grass including extremely tiny yellow flowers. It died over winter outdoors, but the whole plant and flowers were very tiny.

	Currently S. palmifollium is blooming. Flowers are about an inch across and medium yellow. The plant is of a modest size and the flower stalk is well over 2 ft. Unfortunately the flowers do not open until late afternoon- after 4 pm and last but a few hours. A single plant has very little garden impact, but it has survived one winter in my increasingly Zone 6 garden. Maybe a clump would be more of a show. 

	Can't say I'd recommend either except to an avid collector of the genus. 

	I have yet to find a good hardy and showy yellow flowered Sisyrinchium suited to Zone 6. Seems like potential for someone to try some hybrids of hardy species with S. American selections.

	Anyone else try other yellow sp to compare in Zone 6?

	Still seeking that perfect plant.			Best  Jim W. 

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