Mertensia lanceolata

(Lanceleaf Bluebells)

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Mertensia lanceolata, Breckenridge, Summit Co. 0049

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Mertensia lanceolata, Hoosier Pass, Summit Co. 5543

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Mertensia lanceolata, Black Powder Pass, Summit Co. 0350

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Mertensia lanceolata, Black Powder Pass, Summit Co. 0371

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Mertensia lanceolata, Breckenridge, Summit Co. 5157

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Mertensia lanceolata, Hoosier Pass, Park Co. 7615

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Mertensia lanceolata, Bald Mountain, Summit Co. 6507

Scientific Name Mertensia lanceolata USDA PLANTS Symbol MELA3
Common Name Prairie Bluebells ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 31681
Family Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills to alpine (8500 to 14000 ft). Open, dryer areas in meadows and woodland openings.
Plant: Erect leafy perennial 8 to 14 inches tall, growing singley or in clusters. A variable and complex species.
Leaves: Green basal and stem leaves, alternate, broadly-lanceolate, 3/4 to 2-3/4 inches long, leaf surfaces vary from smooth to hairy (strigose-short, flattened hairs); prominent center vein but lateral veins are obscure.
Inflorescence: Compact clusters of downward-pointing dark to pale blue, sometimes pinkish, bell-shaped flowers; calyx hairy, ciliate, 1/8 to 1/4-inch long, divided 2/3-way to the base; corolla 1/3 to 1/2-inch long, equal to or shorter than the limb.
Bloom Period: May to August.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, SW Colorado Wildflowers and American Southwest and Montana Field Guide.
Note: The images below are likely var. nivalis according to the description in "Flora of Colorado" that indicates this variant is found from 8500 to 14000 ft.
BONAP Distribution Map
Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

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