The distinction between blue and purple flowers is often very fine. Mr. F. Schuyler Matthews says that "the blue flower is a creation of the imagination; in reality it does not exist, and the so-called blue is often a decided violet of dilute character." Those who have seen the fringed gentian and the larkspur may disagree with him. To my vision there are certainly blue flowers, and Nature shows no sign of eliminating that color from her category of tints. Many flowers, however, which are usually called blue sustain Mr. Matthews's statement, for the large majority of such flowers display the purple and violet colors. The hepatica is an example of a so-called blue flower which is violet.

All shades of blue and purple will be grouped in this chapter.