Agrostocrinum

Agrostocrinum F.Muell. is a genus endemic to south Western Australia. Different authorities place it in different families. It is considered by some to belong to Phormiaceae, but that family is sometimes included in Hemerocallidaceae (or alternatively as Hemerocallidoideae) and that family is optionally included in Xanthorrhoeaceae by APG II. It is also sometimes included in Anthericaceae but that genus is optionally included by APG II in Agavaceae or Asparagaceae. Australian botanists are including it in Phormiaceae. This genus is related to the genus Dianella. Although for a long time thought to have only one species, two species are now recognized. Species are short lived tufted plants that grow from short rhizomes and have tuberous roots as storage organs. For more taxonomic information see Greg Keighery’s article in Nuytsia.


Agrostocrinum hirsutum (Lindl.) Keighery is usually found in woodlands, heath or sedgelands in a variety of soils. It has a shorter rhizome than the other species and has hairy flowering stems and buds (back of sepals) and narrow green leaves. Leaves are from 10 to 40 cm. long and 2-4 mm. wide. It blooms in spring with the flowering time extended in wetter areas. It has dark blue flowers with black anthers. The perianth segments are 12 to 16 mm long and 6 to 8 mm wide. These pictures were taken north of Albany October 2007 by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner. The first is a habitat shot and the other pictures focus on the flowers, showing the hairy pedicels and buds, the blue flowers, and the back of the flowers.

Agrostocrinum hirsutum foliage, Mary Sue IttnerAgrostocrinum hirsutum, Bob RutemoellerAgrostocrinum hirsutum,  Mary Sue IttnerAgrostocrinum hirsutum, Mary Sue IttnerAgrostocrinum hirsutum back, Bob Rutemoeller

Agrostocrinum scabrum (R.Br.) Baill. is commonly called the Blue Grass Lily. It grows to roughly three feet tall with four to ten flowering stems. It is found mostly on granites in the Jarrah forest and in coastal areas from Albany to Augusta.


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