Virginia Bluebells - Mertensia virginica (Forget-me-not family - Boraginaceae)

 

Virginia Bluebells - Mertensia virginica (Forget-me-not family - Boraginaceae) Flowers are comprised of 5 petals forming a trumpet-shaped corolla; 5 stamens, 1 pistil, several, nodding in panicles. 8 - 28 in. Leaves are oval, lower ones with petioles; upper ones sessile; entire; alternate. March - May. Rich woods, floodplains.


 

 

The buds and immature flowers are pink, but the mature flowers, growing in mass profusion, bathe the floor of woods in a sky-blue color, especially in Virginia; hence their common and specific names. The generic name honors Karl Mertens, a distinguished German botanist. It is also commonly called Oysterleaf because its fleshy leaves taste of oyster when chewed.

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