Blue Flowers (6)

Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

  • Other Names: Bachelor’s Button
  • Family: Aster family (Asteraceae)
  • Season: May-July
  • Color: Purple-Blue, White
  • Habitat: Foothills

The cornflower is a ray flower of bright indigo blue. Occasionally it will also have pink, light blue, or white flowers. Each flower has multiple, three-lobed petals. Cornflowers can be upwards of three feet tall. They were introduced from Europe, and are related to thistles. They cover large areas of Boise foothills in May and June. They can be seen in all three areas.

Douglas’s Brodiaea (Triteleia grandiflora)

large flowered tripley lily 2 what it looks like yes
  • Other Names: Large Flowered Triplet Lily
  • Family: Lily family (Liliaceae)
  • Season: April-June
  • Color: Indigo blue
  • Habitat: Arid crests of foothills

This pretty member of the lily family has a cluster of small, trumpet-shaped flowers on the end of a single stalk. The flowers can be from indigo to pale blue. The six petals have a dark creased line that runs vertically to the tip. The flowers are radially symmetrical. The interior petals are rounded and have a ruffled appearance. They grow from one to two feet tall. They can be found in all three areas.

Larkspur (Delphinium)

  • Other Names: None 
  • Family: Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae)
  • Season: May-July
  • Color: Deep blue; purple
  • Habitat: Sagebrush; open forests

Larkspur has showy, star-shaped flowers. Each bilaterally-symmetrical flower has five petals. The flowers sit atop a single stem with a few almost round, deeply-forked (pinnate) leaves. The plants are between six and ten inches high. There are at least four species of larkspur in Idaho, with upland (Nuttall’s) larkspur and meadow larkspur as the most common. They can be found in LHG and MR.

Lupine (Lupinus)

  • Other Names: None 
  • Family: Pea family (Fabaceae)
  • Season: May-July
  • Color: Blue; purple
  • Habitat: Sagebrush; open areas

Lupine has elongated clusters of pea-like, bilaterally-symmetrical flowers. They may grow together in large numbers. The leaves are palmate, often with as many as a dozen leaflets. The stems and leaves are coated with silvery hairs. They can be upwards of 30 inches tall. There are many varieties found in the Boise foothills, including longspur lupine, tailcup lupine, and silky lupine; varieties of lupine can be difficult to distinguish. They can be seen in MR and LHG.

Maiden Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora)

  • Other Names: Small-flowered Collinsia
  • Family: Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)
  • Season: April-July
  • Color: Blue; White
  • Habitat: Foothills

Blue-eyed Mary has diminutive, pea-like flowers no more than a quarter inch long. Each flower has a blue lower lip and a white or pale blue upper lip. The stems are red and hairy. The leaves are oval and reddish on the undersides. The plants can be one to four inches high. They can be found in LHG and MR.

Prairie Flax (Linum lewisii)

  • Other Names: None
  • Family: Flax family (Linum)
  • Season: May-July
  • Color: Blue
  • Habitat: Rocky hills; open slopes; disturbed areas

Prairie flax has bright blue flowers with five petals. The flowers bloom at the tips of thin stems with short, narrow leaves. They grow to 30 inches. They can be found in LHG.

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