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

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Neil L. Jennings  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8835)

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Distribution of Mertensia longiflora
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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) 305 1021 2074
Slope Gradient (%) 0 19 50
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
55 218 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 3 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: AT(2), BWBS(2), ICH(1), IDF(4), MS(1), PP(4)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References