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Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii

Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii

Douglas's widow-grass is distributed from southern British Columbia to northern California. The species Olsynium douglasii (there are two varieties, var. douglasii and var. inflatum) is the only representative of the genus Olsynium in North America. Eleven other species are distributed in South America.

The common name widow-grass or “grass widow” was apparently coined by the botanist Rafinesque (previously highlighted in a botany resource link from this entry). The Flora of North America account for Olsynium cites Rafinesque's explanation for the common name: “[meaning] hardly united, alluding to the stamens”.

For more photographs, see the entry for Olsynium douglasii on the web site of The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Photography resource link: Environmental Photography: Blending Art & Activism by Randy Beacham for Nature Photographers Online. The article features ten “tips” on environmental photography.


Very interesting....."grass widow" is also an older (and not commonly used) term for a divorcee. Wonder if there is any relationship between the plant & the term?

Also, thanks for presenting such a great site! I'm a daily visitor and it always adds a little information and something to think about to my day.

Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii - Z9 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
[but it thrives in my Z8 garden]

Oh, it's beautiful. I just recently added this site to my MyYahoo! page. I'm lookin' forward to seeing more awesome pics!

Well hello there, This is one awsome looking plant! I want something just like this in my garden!.. :)

It says that this is only in southern British Columbia to northern California but I found it in the hills in Newman Lake Washington also.

Michelle, the distribution range from BC to California includes Washington and Oregon.

Some scientifical facts if your looking for them.
Latin Fam. Name: Iridaceae (iris family)
Scientific name: Olsynium douglasii
# of petals:6
plant height: 4-12 iches
Leaf description: 4 inches, lower half sheathing stem.
Habitat:Grassy areas in sagebrush, and open woods.
Was once considered a member of the Sisyrinchium.

It was just something I put in there for fellow students looking for information on our flower project :)

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