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 Andrew Jackson Downing, famous American pomologist and landscape gardener). Campanulaceae; or Lobeliaceae when this family is kept distinct. Low herbs, much branched, sometimes grown as garden annuals; flowers blue with white or yellow markings or blotches.
Leaves alternate, entire, passing above into bracts: flowers in the axils of the leaves or upper sessile bracts; corolla 2-lipped, the upper lobes much narrower than the 3 lower ones; tube of stamens free from the corolla: seeds numerous, small, oblong to spindle-shaped, in a very long linear caps, that bears at its apex the leafy linear calyx-lobes and is dehiscent lengthwise by 1-3 valves or fissures. - Six to 8 species, mostly in Calif. (1 in Chile), usually in moist places and margins of spring pools, sometimes in salty marshes or in mountains. Rafinesque's name Bolelia (anagram of Lobelia) is older, but is discarded by the list of "nomina conser-vanda" of the the Vienna code. The plants are little known in American gardens. They are easily grown annuals, and are said to make interesting pot-plants. The species are often not well distinguished, and some of them may be color forms. The plants grow about 6 in. high, and have been recommended for edgings.
Torr. (Clintonia pulchella, Lindl.). Erect or ascending, 2-10 in., usually simple: leaves oblong-ovate to linear, 1/2in- long, obtuse: flowers deep blue, the center of lower lip yellow with a white border, and marked with violet and yellow in throat; lower lip with 3 roundish apiculate lobes; upper lip deeply 2-cleft with spreading oblong-lanceolate segments May, June, in Calif. B.R. 1909. R.H. 1861:171. G.W. 15, p. 213. R.H. 1895, p. 19, shows its straggling habit as a pot-plant. Many of the branches fall below the top of the pot.
Torr. (C. elegans, Douglas). stem usually simple, 4-7 in.: leaves ovate to lanceolate: the broad lip moderately 3-lobed; the 2 divisions of the smaller lip lanceolate, parallel; lower lip sky-blue with darker veinlets and the main part white with 2 green or yellowish spots; the throat often purple-spotted and yellow-lined. May. Calif. B.R. 1241. L. H. B.†