Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Nemophila menziesii Hook. & Arn.

Fully hardy, fleshy-stemmed, spreading annual with solitary, saucer-shaped, bright blue flowers in summer.  Unlike many other species of Nemophila, menziesii lacks dotting or veining in lighter or darker shades.  To 20cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A truly beautiful and desirable little annual, a native of California, which found its way into our collections through the unparalleled labours of the lamented Douglas over that part of the world.’  [MB p.151/1836].  Nemophila insignis grandiflora is ‘a very beautiful trailing variety with comparatively light foliage and studded over with thousands of bright azure-blue flowers, three quarters of an inch broad.’  [Gard. Chron. 1852].  All Nemophilas are ‘pretty plants, and worth cultivating.  They may be sown in the open ground.  They delight in a moist, shady situation, and peat or vegetable soil.’  ‘The Nemophilas are all difficult plants to preserve in gardens.  N. phacelioides has long disappeared; and we fear this brilliant Californian species, which flowered in August 1833, in the garden of the Horticultural Society, will scarcely be found more manageable.’  [BR f.1713/1834].  Nemophila insignis was introduced to Britain in 1822.  [Don].  BM t.3485/1836.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [H.155/1843].


Published Feb 12, 2009 - 09:09 AM | Last updated Jul 22, 2010 - 05:18 PM

Depicted is a straggling plant with divided leaves and bright blue single flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3485, 1836.

Nemophila menziesii Hook. & Arn. | BM t.3485/1836 | BHL

Family Hydrophyllaceae
Region of origin


  • Nemophila insignis Douglas ex Benth. var. menziesii (Hook. & Arn.) A.DC.
  • Viticella menziesii J.F.Macbr.
Common Name

Baby blue-eyes

Name in the Camden Park Record

Nemophila insignis 

Confidence level high