Mertensia franciscana

(Franciscan Bluebells)

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Mertensia franciscana, Lone Cone Area, San Miguel Co. 3579

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Mertensia franciscana, Lone Cone Area, San Miguel Co. 3585

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Mertensia franciscana in white, Lower Cataract Lake, Summit Co. 9802

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Mertensia franciscana in white, Lower Cataract Lake, Summit Co. 9808

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Mertensia franciscana in white, Lower Cataract Lake, Summit Co. 9820

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Leaves, Mertensia franciscana, Lone Cone Area, San Miguel Co. 3597

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Leaf underside, Mertensia franciscana, Lone Cone Area, San Miguel Co. 3602

Scientific Name Mertensia franciscana USDA PLANTS Symbol MEFR2
Common Name Franciscan Bluebells ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 31679
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
Click Here
Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills to subalpine (6500 to 10800). Along stream banks, ponds and damp to moist meadows.
Plant: Erect leafy perennial 16 to 40 inches tall, multiple stems, often growing in colonies.
Leaves: Green basal and stem leaves, alternate, ovate to elliptic or lanceolate-ovate, prominent veins; 2 to 4 inches long (basal leaves longer than stem leaves); apparently smooth surfaces--indistinguishabe w/o magnification hairs on upper surface and (sometimes) pustules on lower.
Inflorescence: Clusters of nodding blue, sometimes pink, rarely white, bell-shaped flowers on strigose (short-hairy) pedicels; calyx ~1/6-inch long, divided almost to base with linear-lanceolate lobes ~1/16-inch wide at base and very hairy margins; corolla tube 1/3-inch long or shorter.
Bloom Period: June to August.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County