Collinsia species (blue-eyed-mary's)

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by wynn, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Bowen Island
    Does anyone know if Collinsia species can grow successfully here? I'm told they can't be grown but I've seen maps that indicate that some species are native to our area.

    I would like to try to find some seed and see if I can establish some -- my garden has natural shady areas that sounds similar to their native habitat. I've never seen them for sale.

    Would be grateful if anyone has had experience growing them or knows of a good source for seeds.

    Thank you, Wynn
     
  2. Lee Larkin

    Lee Larkin Member

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    Location:
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    I have grown Collinsia parviflora quite successfully in my yard and in containers. I used to sell this item but stopped carrying it as I had no orders for this cute plant. I live at 1200 feet in Sardis BC in the Ryder Lake area (www.bcwildheritage.com) and have well-drained soils on site. I sprinkled the seed in a raised bed and they came up fine. However, in nature I usually find this plant growing on benches at mid-elevation on moss covered rocks in full to somewhat partial sun - never shade. My plants have sun until around 5 pm, when the large trees shade my property.

    This is a small plant and it does not like competition. It seeds itself yearly and would grow fine in containers, raised beds or rockeries in well-drained soils. Perhaps at lower elevations, other people growing this plant have had different experiences. I believe that someone from the NPSBC brought some in to the Van Duesen plant sale last year. Once you have a plant, you will have the seed. The Alpine Garden Club of BC may also carry this seed for sale.
     
  3. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    You may already know that Collinsia is native to California, and so many plants from there will flourish in Metro Vancouver.

    Ensure to sow the seed directly, in rich moist soil, you will have self sowing plants for years, but save the seed every fall to give it a Northern regenerative boost.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  4. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you so much for the great information and help, both of you!

    I will be following up and hopefully i can encourage some lovely blue-eyed's to take up home in my moss garden!

    Wynn
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  6. Lee Larkin

    Lee Larkin Member

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    It may also be worth checking with the Shop-in-the-Garden at UBC Botanical Garden as they do have a rack with native seed for sale.
     

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