[The Genus Nemophila in the Columbia River. Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Smallflower Nemophila, Small-flowered Nemophila, Wood's Nemophila

Nemophila parviflora var. parviflora

Smallflower Nemophila, Small-flowered Nemophila, Wood's Nemophila: Nemophila parviflora var. parviflora


Characteristics:

Wood's nemophila is a small, easy to miss wildflower with prostrate or procumbent stems from 5-15 cm long. The leaves are mostly opposite, ovate, and pinnately 5 lobed with the blade longer than the leaf stem. The leaf blades range from 1-3.5 cm long and .8-2.5 cm wide and the lower lobes are often as large or larger than the terminal lobe.

The flowers as the species name parviflora indicate are small, ranging from 2-5 mm wide. The flowers are short, tubular, 5-petaled with white or lavender coloration. The corolla is about equal to or slightly longer than the bristle-edged calyx lobes.


Varieties:

variety austinae: The leaves are all opposite on the stems, and they are firmer, smaller in size, and less deeply cleft (See photo at right.). Found at moderate and higher elevations on the east side of the Cascades.

variety parviflora: The leaves are usually opposite on the stems, but some of the upper leaves may be alternate. The leaves tend to be thin and deeply cleft, with the lobes often toothed or narrowed at their bases. Found at lower altitudes on the west side of the Cascades.


Habitat:

Wood's nemophila may be found on wooded slopes or other shady places from the valleys to moderate elevations in the mountains.


Range:

Wood's nemophila may be found from southern British Columbia south to California and east to central Idaho and northern Utah. In the Columbia River Gorge, variety austinae may be found near the Klickitat River and east at all elevations while variety parviflora may be found from the western end of the gorge east to about Lyle, WA between 100'-3000'.


Smallflower Nemophila, Small-flowered Nemophila, Wood's Nemophila: Nemophila parviflora var. parviflora

Wood's nemophila as seen along the Starvation Creek Ridge Trail #414, Columbia River Gorge..........April 26, 2015.

Leaf of Smallflower Nemophila, Small-flowered Nemophila, Wood's Nemophila: Nemophila parviflora var. parviflora

The photo above shows a close-up of the leaf of wood's nemophila (variety parviflora) as seen near the Memaloose Rest Area (eastbound) on Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge.........April 19, 2007. Note the lowest lobes which are conspicuously narrowed at the base.

Basal leaf rosette of Smallflower Nemophila, Small-flowered Nemophila, Wood's Nemophila: Nemophila parviflora var. parviflora


Paul Slichter