Nemophila maculata

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Nemophila maculata
Nemophila maculata3.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: (unplaced)
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Nemophila
Species: N. maculata
Binomial name
Nemophila maculata
Benth. ex Lindl.

Nemophila maculata is a species of flowering plant in the borage family, Boraginaceae. It is an annual herb that flowers in the spring. The common name for N. maculata is the fivespot or five-spot. It is a native species to California where it is endemic.

The flowers of N. maculata are bowl-shaped, white with dark veins and dots. The lobe tips are purple-spotted. The corolla is 1 to 2 centimeters long and up to 5 centimeters wide. The leaves are up to 3 centimeters long and 1.5 wide, and are divided into several smooth or toothed lobes.

The seeds are greenish-brown and are smooth or shallowly pitted. The fruit produces up to 12 seeds. The entire fruiting and seed cycle begins in spring and ends in the summer.

N. maculata is often grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.

Distribution and ecology[edit]

N. maculata is found on slopes in elevations between 20 and 1000 meters. It is most common in the Sierra Nevada and Sacramento Valley, and occurs as far south as San Bernardino and Santa Barbara Counties. It is found in several plant communities, including valley grassland, foothill woodland, and pine and fir forest.

The spots that give N. maculata its common name evolved to attract its primary pollinators, which are solitary bees. Male and female bees feed on the nectar and females collect pollen to feed their larvae.

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