The Nemophila Genus (Baby Blue Eyes)

Nemophila, or Baby Blue Eyes, forms part of the Borage plant family, hailing from western and southeastern parts of North America, and Mexico.

These annuals are very popular as ornamental plants, producing purple, white, or blue flowers.

At A Glance: What You Should Know About Nemophila

Guaranteed to brighten up any area of your garden, Baby Blue Eyes is a plant which also makes a great focal point, thanks to its vivid hues and striking form.

You may be more familiar with Fivespot, or Nemophila maculata, which features a purple spot at the very edge of each petal. 

To really see them at their best, the place to go to Hitachi Seaside Park, or Hitachi Kaihin in Japan. This stunning park is filled with millions of blooms, including over four million Baby Blue Eyes. 

Behind The Name: What Does Nemophila Mean?

The genus name is a combination of Latin and Greek. Nemus, the Latin for ‘wooded glade’, combines with the Greek word philos, which means ‘loving’, referring to their natural woodland habitat.

The common name, Baby Blue Eyes, refers to the vivid blue of most flowers, and depending on the species, the common name has some variation, depending on the cultivar’s appearance.

You may know Nemophila parviflora as Smallflower Baby Blue Eyes, and Nemophila pulchella as Eastwood’s Baby Blue Eyes.

The Symbolism Behind Nemophila

To most, nemophila symbolizes success, victory, and the power of renewal or healing. 

Nemophila Growing Requirements

Baby Blue Eyes will thrive in USDA zones 2 through to 11, making this a versatile plant. Just remember that it is an annual, so it won’t come back the following year.

If you do want to see it again, you’ll need to sow some seeds or buy more plants.

The majority of Baby Blue Eyes cultivars bloom in spring, but you can get even earlier flowering types which bloom in winter.

Nemophila is a very compact plant, and usually will not get larger than a foot tall.

Baby Blue Eyes will do perfectly well in full sun or dappled shade, but you’ll get to see the best out of the vivid colors if you choose a sunny position.

It’s a very low maintenance plant, and will grow well in soil which has good drainage, preferably with a pH between 5.5 and 8.0.

The richer the soil, the healthier your Nemophila will be, so the plant might benefit from the occasional mulch.

Leave a Comment