Nemophila

Nemophila

Nemophila: see waterleaf.

Nemophila is a genus found in the flowering plant family Hydrophyllaceae.

Most of the species in Nemophila contain the phrase "baby blue-eyes" in their common names. N. menziesii has the common name of "Baby blue-eyes". N. parviflora is called the "Smallflower baby blue-eyes" and N. spatulata is called the "Sierra baby blue-eyes". An exception to this naming tendency is N. maculata, whose common name is Fivespot.

Nemophila species are mainly native to the western United States, though some species are also found in western Canada and Mexico, and in the southeastern United States.

Nemophila are commonly offered for sale for garden cultivation. Generally these are N. menziesii.

Description

All species of Nemophila are annuals, and most bloom in the spring. Their flowers have five petals and are bell or cup-shaped, and purple, blue, or white in color, often spotted or marked. The stamens are included and there is only one ovary chamber.

The leaves are simple, with an opposite or alternate arrangement. The petiole is generally bristly. The leaf blade is pinnately toothed or lobed.

The fruit is 2-7 mm wide and generally enclosed by the calyx. The fruit itself is spherical to ovoid in shape. It is also hairy.

The seeds are ovoid, smooth, wrinkled or pitted. At one end there is a colorless, conic appendage.

Etymology

Nemophila means “woodland-loving.” It comes from the Greek word nemos, which means "grove" and the Greek word philia, which means "loving".

Species

There are 11 species in Nemophila:

N. menziesii, N. parviflora, and N. pulchella have varieties under each species.

References

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