It is May. The hilly woods are full of drifts of lavender phlox, with the last of the spring beauties and the yellow of bellwort. The oaks are putting out new little velvet leaves which now are pale pink and white and carmine, small, as if cut out in miniature from soft velvet. Birds are everywhere now and the morning chorus of song ha- grown to the proportions of that splendid annual spring concert which makes the mornings memorable.
Collinsia verna Nutt.
May. Hilly woods.
In certain hill woods in Illinois there are hosts of little blue and white flowers which blossom for a little while and then are gone into the oblivion into which spring flowers go when their time is up.
These are the blue-eyed Mary- or Collinsias. Annuals, they come up from seeds dropped the summer before and produce thin, easily wilting, little green plants with opposite, stemless leaves. The flowers appear at the tops of the stalks, and in it.- flower- the Collinsia is rescued from oblivion or ordinariness to which its simple, weak plant might condemn it. For the flowers are the sort to make people exclaim when they first find them, flowers to make any wood- exciting.
The flower is deeply cleft in five, though it appears to be two petals above and two below. The upper are creamy white, the lower bright gentian blue marked with white lines. In whorl- around the stem these bright (lowers bloom briefly while spring is at its height.
The violet collinsia violacea) abounds in rich sandy soil from Arkansas to Texas, and in Illinois it occurs in two small stands in Shelby County. The upper lip of the corolla is white or nearly white, the lower deep violet.