Thursday, April 04, 2019

Small Blue-eyed Mary

High in the trees, I now see the beginning of green; here and there, leaf buds are starting to open. In the understory, little Christmas-tree lights shine, yellow-green where stray rays of sunlight reach the new huckleberry leaves.

But down on the ground, in the dry meadows and evergreen-shaded dunes around Oyster Bay, brown prevails. Dead grasses from last year, brown seed stalks, dead leaves cover the ground. The moss is a slightly greenish tan.

Crossing the meadow, I noticed a couple of patches of green beside the path, barely up to my shoe uppers. And they were speckled with blue. I got down on my knees to look.

Small blue-eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora. And a few blades of new grass.

The flowers are from 4 to 8 mm. long.

Looking closely, the flowers seem to be halfway detached from the bracts; they aren't. The flower twists as it grows outward, so that the open petals are on a lower level than the stalk. (See this E-Flora photo.)

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