I always have trouble with "favorites." I usually just can't choose one thing to be a superlative all the time. But blue-eyed Mary comes close. It's certainly a contender. Blue and white together are pretty awesome. It's certainly in my top five for Ohio.
Collinsia verna likes moist, rich soil, and partial shade. And it doesn't grow this far north. It's another flower I've only seen in southern Ohio.
It's related to snapdragons,Scrophulariaceae (maybe- more on that later), where the flower tube is swollen into lips with two above and three below.
In blue-eyed Mary, the top two are white, and the bottom three are blue, but the center one is small and hidden.
Oddly enough, genetic testing may move it to Plantaginaceae, a huge diverse group of plants which includes plantain.
The more interesting thing about this plant is that it self-pollinates.
I love finding a whole bank of a stream covered with them!
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