This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Dwarf branching showy annuals. Leaves pinnatifid. Flowers conspicuous, solitary, axillary or extra-axillary, on slender peduncles. Calyx 5-lobed and furnished with reflexed teeth between the lobes, these teeth or appendages enlarging after the flower expands. Corolla rotate or broadly campanulate. Stamens included. Capsule 1- to 4-seeded. This genus is exclusively North American, and the species are mostly from California. The name is a compound of a grove, and
to love, from the natural habitat of some of these plants.
1. AT. insignis (fig. 176), syn. N. Menziesii. - A handsome diffuse annual bearing a profusion of sky-blue flowers having a white eye in the original variety. There is a pure white variety, a blue variety bordered with white, and another with blue streaks on a white ground.
Fig. 176. Nemophila insignis. (1/3 nat. size.)
2. N. maculata. - Leaves very hairy, pinnatifid, with rounded acute or obtuse lobes. This has large white flowers with a violet-purple blotch on each lobe of the corolla.
3. N. atomaria. - Leaves pinnatifid. Flowers white speckled with blue or chocolate, hairy within at the base. There are several garden varieties, differing in the colouring of the flowers; as, white with a black centre, pale blue with black centre, and blue with white and blue speckled centre. N, discoidalis is a variety of garden origin of the foregoing, having rather smaller purple brown flowers edged with white.
if aurita has the pinnate hairy leaves produced at the base in two lateral ear-like lobes which embrace the stem. Flowers purple-violet. N. phoxelioldes is a more foliaceous plant in which the more or less bipinnatifid leaves are broadest in the middle and narrowed into a short petiole at the base. Flowers blue with a light eye. .
Phacelia congesta is an allied erect slightly branching annual about 1 foot high with pinnate or pinnatifid leaves with sharply toothed lobes and circinate cymes of small purplish blue flowers. The calyx is destitute of appendages, and the stamens exceed the corolla.