COLLINSIA (Blue-eyed-mary) (Innocence)
(Named for Zaccheus Collins, a Philadelphia botanist)
The visitor to the woods knows the Blue-eyed-mary, Collinsia verna, one of the daintiest of annual wildflowers. Gene Stratton Porter also loved it, she writes:
When winter’s chill has scarce left earth
And April winds blow “Hey down derry !”
Comes gaily dancing down my hill
Sweet, laughing, Blue-eyed-mary.
She wears a dress of bronzy green
Draped round her light and airy;
She lifts the loveliest face I’ve seen
Brave, tender, Blue-eyed-mary.
Her eyes shine like the azure sky,
Her step light as a fairy;
Her face, no crystal drift so white,
Dear, steadfast, Blue-eyed-wary.
My hat is off to Bouncing Bet,
Gill-over-the-ground runs quite contrary,
Black-eyed-Susan is my pet,
But I’m in love with Blue-eyed-wary.
It grows in moist meadows and blooms at the time of the Tulips. The lower lip is a bright blue, the upper is white, often purple.
Collinsia bicolor is a California annual that has found its way into European catalogs. In this species the lower lip is rose or violet in color and the upper white. The flowers are produced in whorls. The stems are somewhat hairy and often sticky.
C. grandiflora is similar to C. verna, but quite branchy, the flowers being on stems no longer than the flower itself.
Where to Plant. These annuals should be grown in large masses in woody meadows. The seeds self-sow and coming up in October, they will bloom in April among Tulips.
GENERAL. Being hardy annuals they may be sown as early in Spring as desired.