Regularity: Regularly occurring
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Mertensia ciliata is a species of flowering plant in the borage family known by the common names tall fringed bluebells, mountain bluebells, and streamside bluebells.
It is native to the western United States, in California, Nevada, Utah, and Oregon. It often grows in moist habitat, such as subalpine meadows and creeksides. It often carpets large areas of meadow and hillside with blue-green foliage and sweet-scented bluebell blooms.
Mertensia ciliata is a perennial herb producing a cluster of erect stems from a thick, branching caudex. The leafy stems reach well over a meter in maximum height. The veiny leaves are oval to lance-shaped and pointed.
The inflorescence is an open array of many clustered blue bell-shaped flowers each between 1 and 2 centimeters long. The hanging, fragrant flower is tubular, expanding into a wider, lobed mouth. The flowers and leaves are edible.
The flowers bear poricidal anthers and are fertilized via buzz-pollination by several Bombus species. Primary Nectar robbing by Bombus species, including Bombus occidentalis is common in some populations.
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