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baby blue eyes
Nemophila menziesii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Nemophila

Nemophila is a genus found in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae.

Most of the species in Nemophila contain the phrase "baby blue eyes" in their common names. N. menziesii has the common name of "baby blue eyes". N. parviflora is called the "smallflower baby blue-eyes" and N. spatulata is called the "Sierra baby blue eyes". An exception to this naming tendency is N. maculata, whose common name is fivespot.

Nemophila species are mainly native to the western United States, though some species are also found in western Canada and Mexico, and in the southeastern United States.

Nemophila are commonly offered for sale for garden cultivation. Generally these are N. menziesii.


All species of Nemophila are annuals, and most bloom in the spring. Their flowers have five petals and are bell or cup-shaped, and purple, blue, or white in color, often spotted or marked. The stamens are included and there is only one ovary chamber.

The leaves are simple, with an opposite or alternate arrangement. The petiole is generally bristly. The leaf blade is pinnately toothed or lobed.

The fruit is 2–7 mm wide and generally enclosed by the calyx. The fruit itself is spherical to ovoid in shape. It is also hairy.

The seeds are ovoid, smooth, wrinkled or pitted. At one end there is a colorless, conic appendage.


Some of the species of Nemophila are of restricted range. For example, Nemophila menziesii has been observed only in western North America, but chiefly in California.[1] Nemophila heterophylla occurs in a more restricted range within northern and central California (with some proximate state populations); N. heterophylla has the greatest number of sightings Marin County at locations such as Ring Mountain.[2]


Nemophila means "woodland-loving". It comes from the Latin word nemus, which means "grove" or "wooded glade", and the Greek word philos, which means "loving".


There are 11 species in Nemophila:

N. menziesii, N. parviflora, and N. pulchella have varieties under each species.


  1. ^ Calflora, Nemophila menziesii
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Ring Mountain, The Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham [1]

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