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Boraginaceae: Mertensia maritima (L.) S.F. Gray
(oysterleaf, sea lungwort)

A very distinctive species of sandy or cobble beaches by the sea, oysterleaf has succulent, glaucous, blue-green leaves and small, 5 pointed, bell-like, pink to blue flowers. It has a prostrate (ground-hugging) growth habit, forming small to large trailing colonies. One to many leafy cymose flowering shoots grow outwards from the crown of the root system. Flowering occurs mid-June to August. It is a perennial; aboveground parts die back during the winter. M. maritima is a northern spcies, occurring from Cape Cod northwards to Baffin island on the east coast and British Columbia northwards on the west coast including Alaska, also on Greenland coasts and coasts of northern Europe. The genus is named after botanist Franz Carl Mertens.
Sources | Selected Web Resources

Click on images for larger versions.

July 9, 2006. Halifax County: Conrad Beach (Eastern Shore). Photographer: JackPine.
Mertensia maritima, Plant (colony)

Colony on rubble beach.

Mertensia maritima, flower, close

Mertensia maritima, Plant (colony)

Flowering shoot. The glaucous nature of the leaves and stem is readily visible.

Mertensia maritima, inflorescenses

Bar is 1 cm.

Selected Web Resources