Requesting plant ID. If this behaves like an invasive plant, I would like to get rid of it. The leaves are wide, about two feet or three tall in total, almost like an iris, but the flowers don't look like the iris. The flowers look more like those of blue-eyed grass in size and color (which I have in a different location), but are different in details. I didn't plant this, but it appeared and a squirrel may have brought the bulbs or seeds from neighbors. I see this growing in at least four or five different spots in the backyard.

Location: USA, California, San Francisco Bay Area, Zone 0-11.

iris like stems, flowers like blue eyed grass

2 Answers 2


I think you're right that it's a blue-eyed grass, but a West Coast native - possibly, Sisyrinchium-bellum. Multiple sources show this variety as having iris-like leaves with a height up to 24 inches or so (but usually shorter). Here and here are other photos (the last one should show the iris-like leaves).

If it's not S. bellum, then I really think it's a different Sisyrinchium species.


I am not entirely sure what this plant is. There is a group of bulbous plants called Babiana, which are members of the Iris (Iridaceae) family.The pleated leaves shown in your photo would strongly suggest this plant is a member of the Iridaceae, but would also rule out Sisyrinchium, for their leaves are smooth. I am unable to find the exact Babiana variety which yours might be. but since Babiana are bulbous plants and you want to get rid of a clump or two, it's worth digging up a clump to see if it actually does have bulbs at the base and quite what size and shape they are. These are largely South African plants, so how its occurred naturally in your garden is a bit of a mystery though.

Information and images of Babiana species here - note there are 4 different pages split between A through to Z, selected at the top of the page https://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/BabianaThree

  • Interesting. I don't see the pleats in the OPs photo, just differences in the light going through the leaves, as you would see with an iris, but at least we're both in the same family. rpkrpk - please dig up a clump and check for bulbs!
    – Jurp
    Apr 25, 2020 at 13:22
  • @Jurp - can you not enlarge the photo? if you can, you will clearly see the lines or pleats running up the leaves,especially the longer leaves. I would really like to know what it is though....my suggestion is just a sort of guess,really
    – Bamboo
    Apr 25, 2020 at 13:52
  • I saw the lines, but I still don't see pleats - just normal iris-like striations caused by sunlight - certainly not the pleats in babiana. Of course, it could simply be my own (lack of depth) perception :) I really hope that rpkrpk digs up a clump - Babiana growing wild like this would itself be a puzzle.
    – Jurp
    Apr 25, 2020 at 14:59
  • @Jurp - vertical lines is probably a more visually accurate description rather than actual pleats
    – Bamboo
    Apr 25, 2020 at 15:06

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