Plant of the day: baby blue eyes

Broad-faced, freckled little flowers are scattered across the grassland. These are baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii), a sweet sight of spring. Each showy blossom can be up to 4 cm across, and when they grow en masse they are even more striking. In Marin, these flowers usually are a pale blue, but they can also be white–or a dark blue that fades toward white at the center.

Nemophila_menziesii

Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii

Baby blue eyes are in the waterleaf family, along with Phacelia and yerba santa, but unlike both those species it has only one showy flower per stalk. They can grow scattered or in dense clusters, with the long-stalked blooms rising above pinnately compound leaves. Look for this bloom from southern Oregon to northern California.

Gardeners love this little annual because it can self-sow, seeding a new batch each year.

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Filed under Good for gardens, Native, Plant of the day

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