Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council Plants Resource Page

Plant of the Month - Baby Blue Eyes

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Plant Description

Common Name(s):Baby Blue Eyes
Scientific Name:Nemophila menziesii
Family:Boraginaceae (Borage)
Plant Type:Annual
Size:up to 12 inches
Habitat:shady canyon slopes, meadows
Blooms:February to June
Fire Response:Germinate from Seed

Baby blue eyes - Nemophila menziesii - is uncommon in our mountains. This small but beautiful pale blue flower can elicit a srong esponse from those lucky enough to encounter it. The plant grows low to the ground, is delicate, spreading or straggling annual that is full of fine hairs. Often found growing with other plants like Fiesta flower. Baby Blue Eyes is a member of the Borage family and counts as relatives Phacelias. Moist flats and slopes, mostly shaded places in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, valley grassland and oak woodland below 5000 feet. The pale blue flower has a 5-lobed corolla which is divided 1/4 of the way from the base. always white at the center, and sometimes crossed by darker veins or blotches. Look for five white stamens and dark curling anthers. Flowers grow singly on top of green or purplish stalks up to 2 inches long. Underneath the corolla are five green sepals, and between those are five similar-looking appendages, spreading or reflexed, about half as long, Bristly white hairs grow all over stems and stalks. The leaves are thin, opposite and divided into many pinnate rounded segments. Baby blue eyes blooms from February to June.

Name origin:  Nemophila menziesii Nemophila means "woodland-loving;" it derives from the Latin nemos (a grove or wooded pasture) and Greek philos (loving). Menziesii is homage to Archibald Menzies (1754 - 1842), a Scottish naturalist & physician who joined a fur-trading sea voyage in 1786 and returned three years later with several new varieties of plants.
Name Origin was found on This is a wonderful site for native plant information!

Baby Blue Eyes - Originally featured: October 2019
Last modified: November 09 2021 10:12:50.
Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, by Milt McAuley
Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California, by Nancy Dale
Chumash Ethnobotany:Plant Knowledge Among the Chumash People.., by Jan Timbrook
Images Botanical Terms for Leaves