One to two feet high. Stem. - Smooth, pale, erect. Leaves. - Oblong, veiny. Flowers. - Blue, pinkish in bud, in raceme-like clusters which are rolled up from the end and straighten as the flowers expand. Calyx. - Five-cleft. Corolla. - Trumpet-shaped, one inch long, spreading. Stamens. - Five. Pistil. - One.
These very lovely blossoms are found in moist places during April and May in parts of New York as well as south and westward. The English naturalist, Mr. Alfred Wallace, seeing them, for the first time, in the vicinity of Cincinnati, writes in the Fortnightly Review: "In a damp river-bottom, the exquisite blue Mertensia Virginica was found. It is called here the 'Virginian cowslip,' its drooping porcelain-blue bells being somewhat of the size and form of those of the true cowslip."