[Blue-eyed Marys: The Genus Collinsia in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary

Collinsia grandiflora

Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora

Close-up of a flower of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

The photo above shows a close-up frontal view of the flower of large-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at Memaloose in the Columbia River Gorge........April 14, 2007.

Characteristics:

Large-flowered blue-eyed Mary is a pretty annual wildflower. Its habit is to sprawl across the ground, although it may occur as an erect plant to 30 cm in height too. Several pairs of spatulate leaves may be found at the base. These may be toothed. The stem leaves tend to be longer and thinner, with the lower ones being toothed. All leaves are opposite.

The flowers are in rough whorls from the upper leaf axils. Individual flowers have a calyx from 5 to 8 mm in length, and a corolla of 9 to 17 mm in length. The tube of the corolla is abruptly bent near the base at a right angle to the calyx. A small spur occurs at the back side of this bend, just in front of the uppermost calyx teeth. Flowers are two-lipped, with the lower lobes being blue and the upper ones being white.


Habitat:

Collinsia grandiflora is found in moist, open slopes qand flats which dry during the summer. It is found from the lowland valleys to moderate elevations, usually west of the Cascade Mts, except in the Columbia River Gorge where it may be found as far east as Hood River, Oregon.


Range:

Collinsia grandiflora is found west of the Cascade Mts, except as mentioned above in the Columbia River Gorge. it ranges from southern British Columbia south to California.


Close-up sideview of a flower of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

The photo above shows a close-up side view of the flower of large-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at Memaloose in the Columbia River Gorge.......April 17, 2007.

Upper stem leaves of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

The photo above shows the upper stem leaves of large-flowered blue-eyed mary prior to the plant beginning to bloom. Notice the long, thin leaves with occasional minute teeth along the margin.

Inflorescence of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Inflorescence of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

These photos show the inflorescence of large-flowered blue-eyed mary. Photographed at Memaloose in the Columbia River Gorge........April 14, 2007.

Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

Large-flowered blue-eyed mary blooming on a grassy slope east of Warren Creek along the Starvation Creek Ridge Trail #414, Columbia River Gorge........April 26, 2015. There were a number of the unusual pink-flowered specimens along the trail.

Close-up sideview of the corolla and calyx of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Close-up frontal view of the corolla lobes of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

 Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

Additional close-up photos of the masses of large-flowered blue-eyed Mary to be seen blooming along the Dog Mountain Trail in the central Columbia River Gorge......May 4, 2011.

Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

Large-flowered blue-eyed Mary blooming (left) along the Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge.............April 11, 2013. The photo at right showslarge-flowered blue-eyed Mary blooming in vernally moist swales along the Memaloose Trail about one-quarter mile west of Dell Road, Wasco County, Oregon.........March 16, 2016.

Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Inflorescence of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

Early large-flowered blue-eyed Mary blooming at left along the Memaloose Trail, Columbia River Gorge...........March 23, 2014. The photo at right shows large-flowered blue-eyed Mary blooming along the Memaloose Trail, Columbia River Gorge...........March 20, 2018.

Inflorescence of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Habitat of Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

Large-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen along the Memaloose Trail east of Mosier, Oregon.........March 27, 2015.

Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora) - Blue-lips Blue-eyed Mary, Giant Blue-eyed Mary, Large-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia grandiflora (Synonym: Collinsia parviflora var. grandiflora)

Large-flowered blue-eyed mary as seen at left blooming along the West Hardy Ridge Trail, Beacon Rock State Park..........May 14, 2014. The photo at right shows a large patch of large-flowered blue-eyed mary blooming under oaks along the Memaloose Trail, Columbia River Gorge........April 21, 2017.

Paul Slichter