Flowers tubular on long stems arising from upper leaf axils; 2-lipped: the upper lip 2-lobed, white; the lower lip 3-lobed, sky blue, rarely purple or white. The center lower lobe forms a pouch in which the stamens and the pistil are hidden. One of the few Missouri wildflowers that is truly "blue." Blooms April–June. Leaves opposite, the lower ones broadly egg-shaped, slightly scalloped or toothed, on long stems; upper leaves nearly stemless, lance-shaped, smooth along the edges.
Similar species: Violet collinsia, or Ozarkian blue-eyed Mary (C. violacea) is found in acid and sandy soils of glades, barrens and outcrops, roadsides, open dry woods and ridges, and woodland openings, mainly in the prairie region of southwestern Missouri and in sandy areas of southeast Missouri. The flower's lower lip is violet, purple or sometimes white; the lobes of the lips have notches to almost ¼ deep; the leaves are more uniformly narrow.