Collinsia parviflora

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Collinsia parviflora
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Common Names: small-flowered blue-eyed Mary, collinsia
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Collinsia grandiflora
  • Codon: COLPAR

Photo by Craig Althen, 2010. Featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteranae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Collinsia Nutt.
Species: Collinsia parviflora Lindl.
  • Antirrhinum tenellum Pursh
  • Collinsia tenella (Pursh) Piper
  • Collinsia parviflora var. parviflora Lindl.
  • Collinsia grandiflora var. pusilla A. Gray



Annual herb 5-40 cm tall from a taproot. Leafy stems usually erect of ascending, however, sometimes long and sprawling; may be simple or branched. Middle and upper

leaves: are opposite (or whorled), oblong to lance-shaped, 1-4 cm long, though smaller and bract-like in the inflorescence. Lower leaves are oblong to spoon-shaped and are stalked. Leaves are usually hairless while stems are often covered in minute hairs that may be glandular.

Flowers: are two-lipped, 4-8 mm long. The upper lip is white and two lobed; the lower lip is blue and three lobed; four stamens. Flowers are borne in the leaf axils on hairy stalks. Fruit is a smooth, reddish-brown capsule 3-5 mm long, football-shaped, usually bearing four seeds (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).

Bloom Period

March - July[2]


Occurs in BC extending south to California and east to Manitoba, Michigan, Colorado and Arizona (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994; Ganders and Krause, 1986; Elle, 2002).


Rocky outcrops in coastal Douglas-fir zone. Areas that dry out rapidly in summer. Low to middle elevations but occasionally higher. Absent from the wet outer coast.

Collinsia parviflora seeds
Photo Credit Lisa HIntz


Abbreviation: COPA

Seed sample from: 2011

Average measurement: 0.7 x 1.5 x 1

Measurement range: L: 0.5 - 0.9, W: 1.3 x 1.7, D: 0.9 x 1.3


Color Seeds bright red with elliptical, white, large depression that is the hilium on a longer seed side.

Surface Seeds red, matte, and very slightly bumpy. Possibly smoother than COGR. Some seeds have seed coat ridges at the edge of the seed, giving it a somewhat winged look.

Seed slightly larger than Collinsia grandiflora.

Could be confused with: Collinsia grandiflora.

Latitudinal cross section: elliptical COPA.png

Longitudinal cross section: irregular

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.

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  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from
  2. WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from