Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Mertensia oblongifolia
oblong-leaved bluebell, sagebrush bluebell

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to California, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada.

Habitat: Deeper soils in sagebrush habitat.

Flowers: May-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial from a stout root, the several stems 1-4 dm. tall; herbage glabrous or appressed-pubescent.


Basal leaves petiolate, the blade elliptic to oblanceolate or lance-ovate, 2-15 cm. long and 0.7-6 cm. wide; cauline leaves well-developed, rather numerous, 2.5-7 times as long as wide, becoming sessile above.


Inflorescence congested, many-flowered, terminal; calyx 2.5-6 mm. long, cleft nearly to the base; corolla blue, 5-lobed, 1-2 cm. long, the tube 1.3 to 2 times as long as the slightly expanded limb; filaments broad, longer than the anthers; style equaling 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 oblongifolia (Nutt.) G. Don
Publication: Gen. Hist. 4(1): 372. 1837.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Mertensia oblongifolia (Nutt.) G. Don var. oblongifolia [JPM]
Mertensia perplexa Rydb. [HC]
Mertensia viridis (A. Nelson) A. Nelson [HC]
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Mertensia oblongifolia checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Mertensia oblongifolia atlas page.

CalPhotos: Mertensia oblongifolia photos.

USDA Plants: Mertensia oblongifolia information.

27 photographs:
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