Pale Blue-Eyed Grass

Rare II-Imperiled Plants of Colorado

The entry call went out for artists who would like to illustrate imperiled plants of Colorado for the second RARE juried exhibition created by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists.  Being a member, I said yes in 2013 to the calling and choose and painted two rare plants, the Villa Grove Tansymustard, (see a previous blog) and the Pale Blue-Eyed Grass that were close to our “off the grid” cabin in Colorado that we visit in the summer (I live in Texas).    Not an easy task to find this rare pale blue beauty. I tried to find the plant but to no avail.  What to do?  See the article written by Kathleen Konicek-Moran in the ASBA’s ‘the Botanical Artist’ journal for just one option.

lotusmcelfish.sisyrinchiumpallidum cropped wholeSisyrinchium pallidum, ‘Pale blue-eyed grass’:  State rank: S2, Endangered.  This perennial herb is of the Iridaceae family and is usually less than 30cm tall.  The smooth-margined, erect leaves are shorter than the stem and one to five pale blue flowers with a yellow base are borne in a terminal inflorescence.  The inner bract is often half as long as the outer bract and has a conspicuous membranous margin for its entire length. 



ASBA Page 1

ASBA Page 2

Article reproduced with permission of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), copyright The Botanical Artist, June 2017, Issue 22-2. Visit for more about ASBA.
Above is the watercolor portrait (16×20)that I submitted in 2015 to the Rare II-Imperiled Plants of Colorado and happy to say that has been traveling ever since in the exhibit which includes 28 other artists until 2017. It is currently on exhibit at Steamplant Event Center-Paquette Gallery in Salida, CO until August 31st, 2017.
 This image is now in the Colorado State University’s Colorado Rare Plant Guide  


Learn, Give Thought, Be Inspired, Take Action……Bring Back Balance 

Lotus McElfish

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