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NEMOPHILA menziesii

Image of Nemophila menziesii

James H. Schutte

Family

Hydrophyllaceae

Botanical Name

NEMOPHILA menziesii

Plant Common Name

Baby Blue Eyes

General Description

Few garden annuals are American natives, but this little baby-blue-eyed gem is. Distributed across the American West from California up to Alaska, it is a cool season lover that tends to scorch in high heat. Native populations of this low-growing wildflower inhabit moist, sloped, open forests as well as scrub and grasslands where soil is often on the acid side.

The ferny green leaves of baby blue eyes are small, dissected and lightly hairy. Plants form low, spreading or trailing mounds and tend to bloom from winter to late-spring, depending on the climate and location of the population. The charming cupped, five-petaled flowers have blue petal tips and white centers. They are pollinated by insects, primarily bees. Each plant produces many small seeds that germinate in fall for winter and spring blooming.

Baby blue eyes is a popular flower for wildflower mixes but may also be purchased and grown on its own. Sow its seed directly in the ground where there is high light and the soil is moist and well-drained. It performs best when growing temperatures are mild. This true annual looks outstanding in containers and along bed edges where it pairs well with other cool season annuals like pot marigolds and sweet alyssum.

Characteristics

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Width

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Western United States, Alaska, California

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Blue, Light Blue, Sky Blue

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes