E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Collinsia grandiflora Lindl.
large-flowered blue-eyed Mary (giant blue eyed Mary)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Doug Murphy  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66097)

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Distribution of Collinsia grandiflora
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, 5-40 cm tall, simple or branched, nearly smooth below, glandular-hairy above.
Opposite, oblong to lanceolate, 1-4 cm long, minutely toothed to entire, nearly smooth, the lower leaves on 5- to 10 mm-long stalks, the middle and upper leaves unstalked or nearly so, becoming bract-like, smaller and linear in the inflorescence.
Inflorescence an open, terminal cluster of short-stalked flowers, (1) 3 to 7 per node, whorled in the axils of leaflike bracts, the stalks smooth to minutely hairy or glandular-hairy; corollas 7-17 mm long, the tube abruptly bent near the base at a right angle to the calyx and short-pouched at the bend, 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-lobed, blue to purple, pale at the centre, the lower lip 3-lobed, deep blue-violet; calyces 4-8 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes awl-shaped, 2-5 mm long; stamens 4.
Capsules, 4-5 mm long; seeds usually 4, round-oblong, smooth, reddish-brown.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Vernally moist to dry grassy slopes, mossy rock outcrops and forest edges in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in S BC in and west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent N along the coast to 54degreeN; S to UT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

Blue-eyed Marys as a group have extra-floral nectaries (packets of nectar) that occur outside the flower, sometimes on the leaves.


Ecological Framework for Collinsia grandiflora

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 90 678 1008
Slope Gradient (%) 0 33 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
45 216 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), CWH(1), ICH(1), IDF(8), PP(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Antirrhinum tenellum Pursh
Collinsia grandiflora var. pusilla A. Gray
Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora (Lindl.) Ganders & Krause
Collinsia tenella (Pursh) Piper

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References