Chiming Bells (5)

The Mertensia genus, commonly called Chiming Bells or Bluebells, have tubular flowers opening to a bell shape. They have pink buds which turn blue to purplish. Species are differentiated by their leaves, life zone, habitat and the length of the flower tube relative to the bell. 

Mertensia fusiformi

Dwarf Chiming Bells
Mertensia fusiformis

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: Spindleroot Bluebells
Photo taken on: June 16, 2007
Location: Copper Creek Trail, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane to subalpine
Habitat: Wet soil

Grows to 10" with hairy leaves.

Mertensia lanceolata

Lanceleaf Chiming Bells
Mertensia lanceolata

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: Green Bluebells, Prairie Bluebells, Narrowleaf Bluebells
Photo taken on: July 24, 2015
Location: Scarp's Ridge, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to alpine
Habitat: Dry slopes, meadows

Grows singly or in clumps to 12" with leaning stems. Leaves can be hairy or hairless and are lance-shaped.

Mertensia oblongifolia

Oblongleaf Bluebells
Mertensia oblongifolia

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: Sagebrush Bluebells
Photo taken on: May 7, 2005
Location: Almont Triangle, GV, CO
Life Zones: Plains to montane
Habitat: Dry slopes, meadows, sagebrush

Grows to 12". Leaves are three times longer than wide, hairy on top, hairless underneath. Flowers are in dense clusters. The bell of the flower is shorter than the tube.

Mertensia ciliata

Tall Chiming Bells
Mertensia ciliata

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: Languid Ladies, Tall Fringed Bluebells, Mountain

Photo taken on: June 27, 2005
Location: Snodgrass Mountain, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane to subalpine
Habitat: Wet soil, stream sides

Grows to 4ft in dense colonies with soft, blue-green leaves.

Mertensia franciscana

Franciscan Bluebells
Mertensia franciscana

Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
AKA: San Francisco Bluebells
Photo taken on: July 29, 2015
Location: Splain's Gulch, GV, CO
Life Zones: Montane to subalpine
Habitat: Wet soil, open woods

Grows to 3ft tall with greener leaves compared to M. ciliata above. Both grow in similar habitats.

Blue/Purple Round Clusters