Page author: David Giblin
Mertensia platyphylla
broadleaf bluebell

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington, where currently considered endemic.

Habitat: Stream banks and moist, low woods at lower elevations.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees


Herbaceous perennial, with the stems arising singly from a branched, stout rhizome.


Leaves thin, scabrous above, prominently veined, the basal ones, if present, long-petiolate and cordate; cauline leaves numerous, short-petiolate, the blade broadly lanceolate to broadly ovate, pointed, 3-14 cm. long and 1.5-7 cm. wide, rounded at the base, gradually reduced upward.


Inflorescence branched and open; calyx 2-6 mm. long, cleft over half way to the base; corolla blue, 5-lobed, 9-16 mm. long, the limb 1.2 to 1.6 times as long as the tube; tube often with a ring of hairs below the middle within; filaments broad, shorter than the anthers; style longer than the corolla lobes; nutlets attached to the lower half of the style; hairy appendages opposite the corolla lobes at the top of the tube.


4 nutlets.

Accepted Name:
Mertensia platyphylla A. Heller
Publication: Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 26(10): 548-549. 1899.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Mertensia platyphylla A. Heller var. platyphylla
Mertensia platyphylla A. Heller var. subcordata (Greene) L.O. Williams
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Mertensia platyphylla in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Mertensia platyphylla checklist entry

OregonFlora: Mertensia platyphylla information

E-Flora BC: Mertensia platyphylla atlas page

CalPhotos: Mertensia platyphylla photos

4 photographs:
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