Individuals of this species can be considered an herb/forb or a subshrub. It can sprout one to several erect stems with little to no hair at all from one long root. The stem can range from .1 to .7 meters in length. Basal leaves vary between .05 m and .2 m longitudinally and .025 m to .1 m laterally and come in a variety of shapes, including wide, elliptic-lanceolate to ovate-subcordate, eventually tapering to an acute to acuminate point at the apex. The underside of the leaf can be sparsely populated with hairs or completely smooth, and the upper surface can contain short, stiff, and slender bristles or range to completely smooth as well. Leaves are pinnately veined, simple, with petioles ranging from .1-.25 m long, becoming winged traveling up the stem of the plant. Furthermore, the leaves higher on the plant range from .05-.18 m longitudinally, .01-.08 m laterally and are broad, ovate to lanceolate, with acuminate ends. Leaves are arranged in an alternate fashion as it ascends the plant. Flowers are branched on one side, forming a spiral-shaped inflorescence, otherwise known as a scorpioid cyme.
Flower Family: Borage
Scientific Name: Mertensia paniculata
Usual Color: Blue-purple