[The Blue-eyed Marys of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary

Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae

Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae

Close-up sideview of a flower of Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

A view of the upper portion of the corolla as seen at Catherine Creek...................April 14, 2007.

Characteristics:

Few-flowered blue-eyed Mary is a small wildflower to 20 cm tall. It may simple or often branched, and is erect in its habit. The leaves are opposite. The lower leaves have petioles and are elliptic or ovate in shape, often with a few teeth, and to 10 mm in length. the upper leaves become sessile, and tend to be thinner, often linear -oblong to linear-lanceolate in shape.

The flowers tend to be long petioled, with 1-3 at each of the upper nodes. The calyx is long, often hiding most of the tube of the corolla. The corolla is blue-lavendar to white, and 8 to 11 mm long. The corolla is frequently blue-lavendar to white in color. The corolla tube itself is bent at an oblique angle near its base. The tips of the petal are two-lepped.


Close-up frontal view of a flower of Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

A frontal view of few-flowered blue-eyed Mary as seen at Memaloose in the central Columbia River Gorge........April 24, 2006. Note the notched tips to the petals.

Habitat:

Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary lives in open, grassy or rocky slopes and swales.


Range:

Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary is found in the Columbia River Gorge from Klickitat County, WA east to the Snake River Canyon in Wallowa County, OR. It is found southward to southern California.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 200'-2100' from Hood River, OR east to Lyle, WA.


Close-up upper view of a flower of Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

A view of the upper portion of the corolla as seen at Catherine Creek.......April 14, 2007.

Sepals and fruit of Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

The photo above shows a photo of the largely globose seed capsule hidden amongst the large calyx lobes of few-flowered blue-eyed Mary as seen at Catherine Creek, central Columbia River Gorge........May 14, 2006.

Close-up sideview of a flower of Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae) - Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

Few-flowered blue-eyed Mary as seen (left) at Memaloose in the central Columbia River Gorge...........April 24, 2006. The photo at right shows few-flowered blue-eyed mary blooming in moist meadows at the mouth of Rowena Dell between Memaloose and Tom McCall Nature Preserve.........March 31, 2016.

Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae) -- Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

Two views of few-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at Catherine Creek in the Columbia River Gorge......April 9, 2009. The flowers here can either be pure white or white with violet corolla lobes.

Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae) - Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

Examples of a white-flowered form of few-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at Chenoweth Table near The Dalles, Oregon.......March 28, 2013.

Maturing fruits of Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

Maturing fruits of few-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at Chenoweth Table near The Dalles, Oregon..........April 21, 2013.

Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae) - Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

Few-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at Catherine Creek where it is much more numerous than in previous years, perhaps due to last summer's fire.........April 8, 2014.

Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae) - Flower of Few-flowered Blue-eyed Mary, Mrs. Bruce's Blue-eyed Mary, Spinster's Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruceae (Synonyms: Collinsia bruceae, Collinsia sparsiflora var. bruciae)

Few-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen in bloom in meadows along the Memaloose Trail about a quarter mile west of Dell Road, Columbia River Gorge........April 21, 2017.

Paul Slichter