Mertensia longiflora Greene
long-flowered bluebells (long-flowered mertensia; small bluebells)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Neil L. Jennings     (Photo ID #8835)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Mertensia longiflora
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from tuberlike, easily detached root; glabrous or straight appressed-hairy; stems usually 1-2, 5-25 cm tall.
Basal leaves rare on flowering plants, if present then stalked, with broadly elliptic, rounded blades; stem leaves few, lowermost strongly reduced, the others well-developed, mostly unstalked, 2-6 cm long and 0.5-3 cm wide, rounded at tip, entire, alternate; lateral veins obscure.
Inflorescence compact, somewhat headlike; corollas tubular funnel-shaped, blue, 15-25 mm long; petals fused at base into a tube that flares slightly at top to the funnel-shaped limb and 5 lobes, the tube 2-3 times as long as the limb, and glabrous within but with 5 bulges at the throat.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, wrinkled.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Mertensia longiflora

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)
1021 305 2074
Slope Gradient (%)
19 0 50

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

218 55 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(2), BWBS(2), ICH(1), IDF(4), MS(1), PP(4)

Habitat and Range

Dry to mesic grasslands, shrublands and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; frequent in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to W MT, ID and N CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia