Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Mertensia ciliata
mountain bluebells, streamside bluebells, tall fringed bluebells

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Stream banks, wet meadows, damp thickets, and wet cliffs, from the foothills to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees


Usually glabrous perennial from a branched, woody crown, the stems numerous, 1.5-15 dm. tall.


Leaves prominently veined; basal leaves, when present, long-petiolate, not at all cordate, the blade elliptic to lance-ovate; cauline leaves well-developed and gradually reduced upward, lance-elliptic to lance-ovate, 3-15 cm. long and 1-5 cm. wide, tapering to the base, the upper sessile.


Inflorescence cymose, branched and open; calyx 5-lobed, 1-3 mm. long, cleft nearly to the base, the lobes broadly rounded to nearly acute at the tip; corolla 10-17 mm. long, the limb about the same length as the tube; filaments broad, 1.5-3 mm. long; styles elongate, often exerted.


4 nutlets.

Accepted Name:
Mertensia ciliata (E. James ex Torr.) G. Don
Publication: Gen. Hist. 4: 372. 1837.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Mertensia ciliata (E. James ex Torr.) G. Don var. subpubescens (Rydb.) J.F. Macbr. & Payson [HC2]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Mertensia ciliata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Mertensia ciliata checklist entry

OregonFlora: Mertensia ciliata information

E-Flora BC: Mertensia ciliata atlas page

CalPhotos: Mertensia ciliata photos

21 photographs:
Group by