Aunt May Sisyrinchium Sisyrinchium striatum 'Aunt May' (v)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
pale yellow-eyed grass 'Aunt May'


Aunt May, commonly known as the striped rush or satin flower, is a plant with a visually striking form, featuring sword-like foliage that boasts a delicate variegated pattern. Each leaf is edged with a creamy white border that contrasts nicely against the grayish-green center, adding a touch of brightness to the plant's overall appearance. During its blooming season, Aunt May produces sturdy, upright flowering stalks that are adorned with small, star-shaped flowers. The blossoms are usually pale yellow, which complements the variegated leaves and adds a soft splash of color. The overall impression of Aunt May is one of elegant vertical lines and subtle yet appealing color contrast, making it a refined choice for gardens where a touch of variegation is desired.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Aunt May Stripey, Variegated Satin Flower, Variegated Yellow-Eyed Grass

    • Common names

      Sisyrinchium striatum 'Aunt May'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Aunt May is not widely reported to be toxic to humans. Most members of the Sisyrinchium genus do not have significant toxicity, and there is limited information regarding any notable adverse effects from ingesting this specific cultivar. However, as with any plant, individual allergic reactions or sensitivities may exist, and it is generally advisable to avoid ingesting parts of ornamental plants due to potential unknown risks.

    • To pets

      Aunt May is not commonly known to be toxic to pets. There is a scarcity of detailed information on any specific toxicity this plant may have to pets such as cats and dogs. As with humans, it is prudent to prevent pets from ingesting plants not intended for consumption, as they may cause gastrointestinal upset or an allergic reaction in some cases. If you suspect your pet has ingested any part of the plant and is showing adverse symptoms, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Spread

      1 feet (0.3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Easy to grow: Sisyrinchium 'Aunt May' is known for its low maintenance requirements, making it suitable for gardeners of all levels.
    • Attracts wildlife: It can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to the garden, enhancing biodiversity.
    • Drought tolerant: Once established, it is quite tolerant of dry conditions, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Ornamental value: With its variegated foliage and attractive pale yellow flowers, it adds visual interest to garden borders and beds.
    • Compact size: Its relatively small size makes it suitable for rock gardens, front-of-border placements, and container planting.
    • Long blooming period: It has a long flowering season, usually from late spring to early summer, offering extended garden appeal.
    • Resistant to deer: Typically resistant to grazing by deer, it can be a good choice for areas where deer are a common garden nuisance.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Satin Flower can be used as an accent in pressed flower art because its delicate blooms and slender foliage retain color and shape when dried.
    • In photography, Satin Flower provides a soft and subtle background when taking close-up shots of insects or other plants.
    • Dried Satin Flower stems can be incorporated into homemade paper, adding texture and visual interest to the final product.
    • Satin Flower's striped leaves can be used as a natural stencil for creating patterns in pottery or fabric dyeing projects.
    • Its structured form and foliage make Satin Flower a useful plant for teaching botanical illustration and plant structure to students.
    • The plant can serve as a seasonal component in a living roof design, contributing to biodiversity and aesthetic variety.
    • Young enthusiasts can use Satin Flower in plant biology experiments to study phototropism – the way the plant grows towards light.
    • Satin Flower can be used in a sensory garden, providing not only visual texture but also a soft, grass-like feel to the touch.
    • When creating a miniature garden or fairy garden, Satin Flower's foliage can represent larger tree or shrub species due to its slender form.
    • For ornamental fish ponds or water features, the foliage of Satin Flower can provide shelter for amphibians and beneficial insects.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Pale Yellow-eyed Grass is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Pale Yellow-eyed Grass is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Determination: The sturdy nature of the Aunt May reflects the quality of persistence and the ability to thrive in various conditions, often symbolizing determination.
    • Adaptability: Known for its resilience and ability to adapt, Aunt May often represents the capacity to thrive in varying environments.
    • Modesty: Despite its striking variegated foliage, Aunt May is not ostentatious and can symbolize humility and modesty.
    • Charm: The delicate flowers and attractive leaves of Aunt May are associated with enchantment and a subtle allure.
    • Purity: The pale yellow to cream flowers of the Aunt May can signify cleanliness, innocence, and new beginnings.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Satin Flower should be watered regularly, ensuring the soil is consistently moist but never waterlogged. During active growth in the spring and summer, you might water about once a week, providing roughly half a gallon depending on the size of the plant and environmental conditions. Less frequent watering is required during the fall and winter, as the plant enters a more dormant state. Always check the top inch of soil for dryness before watering.

  • sunLight

    Satin Flower thrives best in full sun to partial shade. Placing the plant in a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight each day is ideal, ensuring it's shielded from the intense afternoon sun to prevent leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Satin Flower prefers temperate conditions and performs best when temperatures range between 60°F and 75°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to around 50°F but may become damaged if exposed to frost. Avoid placing the plant in areas where temperatures exceed 80°F for extended periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Satin Flower primarily to remove spent flower stalks and to maintain its shape. Light pruning can be done throughout the flowering season to encourage new blooms. The best time for more substantial pruning to rejuvenate the plant's form is in early spring or after flowering has ceased.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Pale Yellow-eyed Grass prefers well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. A mix of garden soil, peat moss, and sand or perlite can create a good environment. Aim for a pH between 5.5 and 7 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Pale Yellow-eyed Grass, being a perennial, does not require frequent repotting. Repot every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil and to accommodate growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Pale Yellow-eyed Grass thrives in moderate humidity levels. It is resilient and can adapt to the average humidity found in most outdoor environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, good ventilation, and pot with drainage.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining soil, full sun to part shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Sisyrinchium striatum 'Aunt May', commonly known as Satin Flower or Pale Yellow-eyed Grass, begins its life cycle as a seed which, when conditions are suitable, germinates and grows into a young plant. The seedling stage is characterized by the emergence of grass-like foliage which then matures into a clump of attractive, variegated green and cream-striped leaves. As the plant enters the vegetative stage, it continues to grow and the leaves become more pronounced and sword-shaped. Following this, the reproductive stage occurs typically in late spring to early summer when the Sisyrinchium striatum 'Aunt May' produces tall, upright flower stems bearing star-shaped, pale yellow flowers. After pollination, these flowers develop into seed capsules, and upon maturation, the seeds are dispersed to begin a new life cycle. In cold climates, the plant may die back in winter but can re-emerge from its rhizomes with the return of warmer weather in the spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The Sisyrinchium striatum 'Aunt May', commonly known as Aunt May’s Yellow-Eyed Grass, is best propagated through division in the fall or early spring. The most popular method of propagating Aunt May's Yellow-Eyed Grass is by carefully lifting the plant and dividing the rhizomes. To do this, dig up the clump when the plant is dormant and gently separate the rhizomes, ensuring each division has a portion of roots attached. Replant the divisions immediately at the same depth they were originally growing, spacing them about 12 inches (approximately 30 centimeters) apart to allow for ample growth. Water the new plants thoroughly to help establish them, and expect new growth to occur within a few weeks, depending on the climate and conditions. This method of division helps to rejuvenate older plants and increase the number of plants in your garden efficiently.