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Mertensia ciliata

Chiming Bells, Mountain Bluebell
Boraginaceae
Perennials, Flowers

MERTENSIA

Resemble giant-size forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and belong to the same family. Plants emerge and flower early, then go dormant soon after going to seed (usually before midsummer). Typically smooth, gray-green or blue-green leaves. Nodding, bell-shaped flowers are carried in gradually uncoiling clusters. Buds are pink or lavender, openingto blue flowers that sometimeshave a pinkish cast. Goodin woodland gardens.

Provide moist, rich soil. Use summer annuals to fill voidafter plants die back. Clumpscan be left in place indefinitely;they will slowly spread. Toincrease a planting, transplantvolunteer seedlings or dig anddivide the clump in early fall.

Mertensia ciliata

Native to dampplaces in the Rocky Mountainsand the Blue Mountains of Oregon.To 3 ft. high and 1 ft. wide,with 1/2–3/4-in. flowers. Severalother species, most of themlower growing than M. ciliata,also are native to mountainousareas of the West.

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