General: Annual herb from a taproot; stems ascending to erect, sometimes sprawling, 5-50 cm tall/long, slender, simple or branched, minutely hairy.
Leaves: Opposite, smooth or minutely hairy, often purplish beneath, the lower leaves egg- to spoon-shaped, on 5- to 10 mm-long stalks, the middle and upper leaves oblong to linear-lanceolate, 1-4 cm long, entire or nearly so, becoming bract-like, smaller, linear and often whorled in the inflorescence.
Flowers: Inflorescence an open, terminal cluster of short-stalked flowers, 1 to 5 per node, whorled in the axils of leaflike bracts, the stalks smooth to finely glandular-hairy; corollas 4-8 mm long, the tube abruptly bent near the base at an oblique angle to the calyx and strongly pouched at the bend, 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-lobed, whitish, the lower lip 3-lobed, blue; calyces 3-6 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes linear-lanceolate; stamens 4.
Fruits: Capsules, 3-4 mm long; seeds 2 to 4, ellipsoid, smooth, about 2 mm long, with thickened inrolled margins.
1. Corolla 4-7 (10) mm, the tube bent at an oblique angle to the calyx, strongly pouched at the bend; widespread in vernally mesic habitats in w N Am...........................Collinsia parviflora Lindl.
1. Corolla 9-17 mm, the tube bent at about a right angle to the calyx, short-pouched at the bend; open places at middle and lower elevations W Cas, and in CRG.......................Collinsia grandiflora Lindl.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia and Flora of the Pacific Northwest.
Habitat / Range
Vernally moist to dry grassy slopes, mossy rock outcrops, forest glades and open forests in the lowland and montane zones; common throughout BC except NE; N to AK and S YT, E to ON and S to PA, MI, SD, NM, AZ and CA.
Blue-eyed Marys as a group have extra-floral nectaries (packets of nectar) that occur outside the flower, sometimes on the leaves. Some populations of Collinsia parviflora in southern British Columbia are polymorphic for a gene that causes purple-spotted leaves. Read more here.
Ecological Framework for Collinsia parviflora
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)
A shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, North American forb distributed in Pacific, Cordilleran, and Central regions. Occurs on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-medium soils within boreal. temperate, cool semiarid, and mesothermal climates. Its occurrence increases with increasing temperature and decreases with increasing precipitation. Occasional in the open and in open-canopy forests on very shallow soils on rock outcrops and cliffs. Often inhabits meadow-like communities on water shedding-sites where early spring moisture is followed by mid-summer drought. Characteristic of moisture-deficient sites.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2020-12-04 7:18:15 AM
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