Blue Flowers (8)


Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

  • Other Names: Bachelor’s button
  • Family: Aster family (Asteraceae)
  • Season: May-July
  • Color: Purple-blue, white
  • Habitat: Foothills
  • Status: Non-native

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. The plant can be upwards of 3 feet tall. It was introduced from Europe and is a relative of the thistle. It can cover large areas. It is found in Camel’s Back Park, Hulls Gulch, and Military Reserve.


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
  • Status: Native

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 indigo to pale blue. The six petals have a dark creased line that runs vertically to the tip of each petal. The flowers are radially symmetrical. The interior petals are rounded and have a ruffled appearance. It grows from 1-2 feet tall. It is found in Camel’s Back Park, Hulls Gulch, and Military Reserve.


Larkspur (Delphinium)

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

Larkspur has showy, star-shaped flowers with five petals and grows from 6-10 inches in height. The bilaterally-symmetrical flowers sit atop a single stem. Plants have almost round, deeply-forked (pinnate) leaves. There are at least four species of larkspur in Idaho, with upland (Nuttall’s) larkspur and meadow larkspur as two of the most common. It is found in Hulls Gulch and Military Reserve.


Lupine (Lupinus)

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

Lupine is a showy plant with elongated clusters of pea-like, bilaterally-symmetrical flowers. It often grows in large numbers. Its leaves are palmate, often with as many as a dozen leaflets. Its stems and leaves are coated with silvery hairs. It can be upwards of 30 inches in height. 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. It is found in Military Reserve and Hulls Gulch.


Maiden Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora)

  • Other Names: Small-flowered collinsia
  • Family: Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)
  • Season: April-July
  • Color: Blue and white
  • Habitat: Foothills
  • Status: Native

Blue-eyed Mary has diminutive, pea-like flowers no more than 1/4 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. Plants can be 1-4 inches high. It is found in Hulls Gulch and Military Reserve.


Penstemon (Penstemon)

  • Other Names: Beardtongue
  • Family: Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)
  • Season: May-July
  • Color: Blue to purple
  • Habitat: Rocky hills; open slopes; disturbed areas
  • Status: Native

Penstemon has upright stalks of showy, elongated clusters of tubular flowers with five lobes. The leaves are blue-green and leathery. The stems are sometimes reddish. Plants are usually 1-3 feet tall. There are hundreds of penstemon species in America; species in Idaho include sagebrush penstemon, small-flowered penstemon, sand penstemon, and rock penstemon (also known as Gairdner’s beardtongue). It is found in Camel’s Back Park, Hulls Gulch, and Military Reserve.


Prairie Flax (Linum lewisii)

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

Prairie flax has bright blue flowers with five petals. The flowers bloom at the tips of thin stems. The leaves are short and narrow. It grows to 30 inches tall. It is found in Hulls Gulch.


Strict Forget-me-not (Myosotis stricta)

  • Other Names: Small-flowered forget-me-not, blue scorpion grass
  • Family: Borage family (Boraginaceae)
  • Season: April-July
  • Color: Pale blue
  • Habitat: Sandy soils; disturbed areas
  • Status: Non-native

Strict forget-me-not has clusters of tubular, radially-symmetrical flowers with five petals. The flowers are extremely tiny (1/8 inch); they lack a yellow center. The hairy leaves are an inch long and simple; they alternate up the stem. It is 3-10 inches high. It is found in Hulls Gulch.


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