Etymology: Mertensia: named after German botanist Franz K. Mertens (1764-1831)
Plants: erect, perennial, 12"-26" tall forb, leafy; stems fleshy
Leaves: alternate, hairless, upper leaves with rounded tips and usually stalkless
Flowers: blue to pink (occasionally white), 5-parted, 3/4"-1" long, trumpet-shaped, nodding; inflorescence a small, branched cluster (cyme) at the end of the stems on a hairless stalk; blooms May-June
Fruits: nutlet, often wrinkled
Habitat: moist to wet; woods
Conservation Status: Native
Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 4, Wetland Indicator = FACW USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. David G. Smith's "Delaware Wilflowers": Beautiful photographs; descriptions Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"