Maiden Blue-eyed Mary, Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary
Synonyms: Antirrhinum tenellum, Collinsia grandiflora var. pusilla, Collinsia tenella
Small-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen in the Columbia Hills Natural Area Preserve..........April 11, 2008.
The photo at right shows a close-up view of the axillary flower of small-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen along FS Rd 82 on Mt. Adams at an approximate elevation of 2550'..........May 7, 2005. Note how the corolla is oriented at approximately a 45-50 degree angle in relation to the axis of the calyx.
Small-flowered blue-eyed mary is an upright to spreading and
lax annual wildflower ranging from 5 to 40 cm in height or length. The stems
are simple or unbranched and covered with tiny hairs (See the minute, shiny
hairs on the stem in the photo at right.)
The lower stem leaves are short-petiolate and spatulate or rounded
in shape with entire margins. The lower leaves typically are shed quickly. The
mid and upper stem leaves have reduced petioles or are sessile and narrowly
elliptic, oblong, or linear in shape. The upper leaves also may appear whorled.
The upper leaves are up to 5 cm long and up to 12 mm wide.
The inflorescence consists of one to several flowers in the
axils of the upper leaves. The flowers are strongly bilabiate or two-lipped
with two larger upper lobes (not completely separated or cleft) and three smaller
lower lobes with the middle lobe folded onto itself like a keel (as in peas).
The calyx is 3-6 mm long with the 5 acute lobes longer than the tube. The corolla
is 4-7 mm long and is blue with a white upper lip. The corolla tube is noticeably
bent near the base and bends over the lower side of the calyx at an oblique
angle. The seed capsule is ellipsoid, shorter than the calyx, and 3-5 mm long
and 2-3.5 mm wide (See photos.).
Small-flowered blue-eyed mary is found on seasonally moist soils
from grasslands to mossy, rock-covered slopes, and along shady forest edges.
It is often found along the disturbed margins of roadways as viewed by the photos
on this page.
Small-flowered blue-eyed mary may be found over much of western
North America. It may be found from the Alaskan panhandle south to California
and east to Colorado, Michigan and Ontario.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations
of 100'-4300' from Troutdale, OR east past Biggs Junction, OR.
A close-up sideview of the flower of small-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at Catherine Creek in the Columbia River Gorge...........April 9, 2009. Note how the corolla tube is bent at approximately a 45-60 degree angle to the calyx.
The photo at left shows small-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen in the Columbia Hills of the Columbia River Gorge..........April 11, 2008. The photo at right shows small-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen along the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail under oaks near the trailhead on Washington Highway 14..........March 11, 2016.
An early blooming small-flowered blue-eyed Mary as seen (left) in bunchgrass prairie on WDFW land in Swale Canyon in Klickitat County, WA..........March 18, 2010. The photo at right shows early-blooming small-flowered blue-eyed mary on the cut bank along the Dalles Mountain Road about 2 miles east of the Dalles Mountain Ranch buildings..........March 3, 2016.
The upper trio of photos show small-flowered blue-eyed marys from Sevenmile Hill..........March 8, 2015. The lower pair of photos show an unusual white-flowered form of small-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen on the southeastern slopes of Sevenmile Hill several miles northwest of The Dalles, Oregon...........March 8, 2015 (left) and March 30, 2015 (right). There were masses of these white-flowered small-flowered blue-eyed marys in the areas burned in 2014.
Small-flowered blue-eyed Mary as seen on talus along the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail about one mile east of Lyle, Washington.......March 4, 2018.
Small-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at left along the Weldon Wagon Road several miles east of Husum, WA......April 19, 2018. Note the flowers are bent at approximately a 45-60 degree angle to the calyx lobes. The flowers on these plants were atypical in being large enough to cause enough confusion as to whether they were large-flowered blue-eyed mary (Collinisia grandiflora) or not, which as the corolla tube bent at a 90 degree angle to the calyx. The photo at right shows small-flowered blue-eyed mary blooming along the Memaloose Trail east of Mosier, OR......March 20, 2018.