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

Tonella tenella (Benth.) A. Heller
small-flowered tonella (lesser baby innocence)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25878)

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Distribution of Tonella tenella
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems ascending to erect, 5-25 cm tall, slender, often branched, smooth.
Opposite, smooth or soft-hairy on the upper surface; lowermost leaves stalked, egg-shaped to round, 1-2 cm long, few-toothed; middle and upper leaves becoming unstalked upward, deeply 3-lobed, the segments progressively narrower upward; uppermost leaves reduced and often entire.
Inflorescence of 1 to several long-stalked flowers in the axils of bracts, the stalks smooth or minutely glandular-hairy; corollas blue and white, short-tubular, 2-4 mm wide, 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-lobed, the lower lip 3-lobed, the middle lobe largest; calyces to 3 mm long, deeply 5-lobed, the lobes longer than the tube; stamens 4, exserted.
Capsules, egg- to globe-shaped; seeds 2 to 4, large, 1-1.5 mm long, wingless.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry, rocky slopes in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC, known only from Saltspring Island; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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