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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - March 27, 2009

From: Chicago, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Looking for seeds of Collinsia verna (Mary Blue eyes)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Friends, I am desperately trying to locate (for purchase) seeds for the wildflower "Mary Blue Eyes" or "Spring blue-eyed Mary" (botanical name Collinsia Verna.) Internet searches for seeds or plants available for sale have proved futile, so far; Iím hoping you can help. Can you tell me where I might purchase seeds (or plants) for Collinsia Verna? Any help will be most appreciated. Thanks for your time and trouble!

ANSWER:

Collinsia verna (spring blue eyed Mary) occurs in Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Ontario in Canada.  It is listed as endangered in New York and Tennessee. This endangered status may be one of the reasons that you are having difficulty finding seeds.  Your best bet is to contact seed companies that specialize in native plants in the states listed above.  You can find lists of those in our National Suppliers Directory.  Many of the seed companies have websites that list available stocks.  I tried a few of the ones in and around Illinois that had websites, but wasn't successful in finding your Mary Blue Eyes.  I didn't try all of the seed companies and there are many that do not show websites but do have telephone numbers or e-mail addresses for contact.  Another possibility is to contact the state associations of the North American Native Plant Society in the states named above.  Often members of the associations rescue and grow native plants, in particular, those that are endangered.

 

 

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