This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(after Zaccheus Collins, American philanthropist and promoter of science, Philadelphia, 1764-1831). Scrophulariaceae. Hardy flower-garden annuals mostly from California and western North America.
Leaves simple, verticillate in 3's, or opposite: flowers in the axils, solitary or in whorls, racemose in some species; calyx bell-shaped; corolla deeply bi-labiate; stamens 4, the fifth rudimentary and glandular. - About 25 species. They are not far removed botanically from Pentstemon and Chelone. From the former, the genus differs in having the fifth sterile stamen reduced to a mere gland.
The collinsias are free-flowering and of the easiest culture. They may be sown outdoors in the fall in wel-drained soil, and will bloom earlier than if sown in spring. Their flowers borne in midsummer range in color from white through lilac and rose to violet, with clear, bright blue also, at least on one lip of the flower. There is no yellow.
A. flower-stalks very short, giving the clusters a dense appearance. B. Corolla strongly declined; throat as wide as long. bicolor, Benth. Fig. 1032. Height 1-2 ft.: hairy, glabrous, or sticky: stems weak and bending: leaves more or less toothed, and oblong or lanceolate, sessile, finely toothed, opposite or in 3's: flowers typically purple and white, with 5 or 6 well-marked color varieties. variety alba, Hort. (Fig. 1033), has pure white flowers, or the lower lip greenish or yellowish. variety multicolor, Voss (C: multicolor, Lindl. & Paxt.), has variegated flowers, the same flower being white, lilac, rose or violet on either lip or both. variety multicolor marmorata, has the lower lip white, suffused lilac, and upper lip light lilac, spotted and striped carmine. Calif., below 2,000 ft. B.M. 3488. P.M. 3:195. B.R. 1734. - This is the most widely distributed and variable species, and the one on which the genus was founded. Calif., mostly in moist ground.
Fig. 1033. Collinsia bicolor variety alba. (X 1/2)
bb. Corolla less strongly declined; throat much longer than broad.
Benth. Height 1 1/2 ft., the stem usually stiff and simple: sticky and somewhat glandular, rarely hairy: leaves from ovate-oblong to linear: flower-whorls 2-5, purplish or whitish: seeds not wrinkled. Calif.
Fig. 1032. Collinsia bicolor.
aa. flower-stalks 1/2in. long or more, giving the clusters a looser look.
Nutt. Height about 6 in.: leaves ovate or oblong, or the lowest rounded and slender-stalked, and the upper ovate-lanceolate and partly clasping: whorls about 6-flowered; flower-stalks longer than the flowers; throat of the corolla as long as the calyx-lobes; lower Up bright blue; upper lip white or purplish: seeds thick, not flattened, oblong, arched. Moist woods, W. N. Y. and Pa. to Wis. and Ky. B.M. 4927.
Douglas. Height 4-12 in.: leaves thickish, the lowest roundish and stalked: whorls 3-9-flowered; flower-stalks about as long as the flowers; lower lip deep blue or violet; upper lip white or purple; throat of the corolla sac-like, as broad as long, or as long as the upper lip: seeds roundish, smooth. Shady hills of Calif. B.R. 1107.
N. Taylor, †