A Tiny, Multicolored Party

Many people love irises–and why not? They’re perennial, easy to grow, and come in every color of the rainbow, including nearly black. Many people are familiar with Blue-eyed grass, a common sight on Texas roadsides during spring.

Sisyrinchium - Wikipedia

What most people don’t realize is that Texas has a species of miniature Sisyrinchium, S. rosulatum. They can be found growing by the hundreds in sandy soil, but since they’re only a few inches tall, it is easy to walk right past them.

The fun thing is that they come in all sorts of colors.

White with a diffuse purple eye-ring:

White with a more well-defined, maroonish eye-ring:

Pale pink-purple with a darker eye-ring:

Yellow with a maroon eye-ring:

Or even blue (though this is less common locally):

Often multiple colors will be found growing in the same colony–all but the blue image above were taken at the same spot on the same day. Since the flowers are less than a centimeter across, the effect can be like confetti.

Photo by Bobby Hattaway

The sepals and petals are the same color and texture, though there may be three of one size or shape and three of a slightly different size and shape. The fruits nod after flowering.

I drew three plants of various sizes, simplifying them a bit by not putting in too many leaves, flowers, or fruit. By the time I picked out colors, it was a very annotated sketch. (I keep thinking that surely I must have all the colors I need already specified in the palette for the big project as a whole, but I end up having to add five or six for each new design!)

Charting it was a bit tedious, since long, thin shapes like the grassy leaves are a a bit boring–and also hard to render naturally.

I then reversed the largest sketch and changed the position of the flowers so that I’d have four and could chart designs with white, yellow, pink, and blue flowers. I chose three different colorways for the stems, leaves , and fruit. A stitcher could mix and match flowers and foliage in any way they choose.

This is about life size on my laptop!

As stitched, the individual plants would look something like these–bearing in mind that the program shows non-greens as brighter than they really are:

I’m reasonably happy with these. The leaves don’t come out smoothly, the bases of the corollas need to be more green and not petal/sepal-colored, and they’re actually a bit big. I will probably play with them some more. But they’re still recognizable as Sisyrinchium, so I suppose I will put this one in the “Win” column.

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