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Nemophila maculata
About Fivespot (Nemophila maculata) Nurseries Show All Photos Nemophila maculata is a species of flowering plant in the Borage family, Boraginaceae. It is an annual herb that flowers in the spring, and it is endemic to California. In the wild it is found primarily in the Sierra foothills, but it is also planted extensively in gardens. The seeds are often included in wildflower mixes. The flowers are bowl-shaped consisting of five petals, white with dark veins and dots. The lobe tips are purple-spotted, leading to the common name. The corolla is 1 to 2 centimeters long and up to 5 centimeters wide. The leaves are up to 3 centimeters long and 1.5 wide, and are divided into several smooth or toothed lobes. This species should not be confused with Desert Fivespot (Eremalche rotundifolia).
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
0.5 - 1 ft (0.15 - 0.3 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color
White, Blue, Purple

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Meadows, roadbanks, grasslands, and openings in forest or woodlans

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
23' - 10141'

Annual Precip. ?
6.7" - 63.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 2.06"

Coldest Month ?
23.9° F - 51.3° F

Hottest Month ?
46.2° F - 77.2° F

Humidity ?
1.49 vpd - 25.44 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sand but tolerates garden soil

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.5

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24

Companion Plants
This species works very well with other annual or herbaceous perennial wildflowers in a meadow garden, including the closely related Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii), California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Clarkia sp., Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla), Gilia sp., Lupinus sp., Penstemon sp., Phacelia sp., and many others. Also works well with geophytes such as Brodiaea sp., Mariposa Lily (Calochortus sp.) and Dichelostemma sp., as well as various catcus and succulent species such as Dudleya sp.

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects are attracted to the flowers, including bees and butterflies

Butterflies ?


Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment may give satisfactory results. For more uniform germination, stratify for 2 mos. or germinate at cool temperatures (less than 70°F) and in darkness for first 3 days (Cruden 1974).

Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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