Most of the 18 species of Collinsia occur in California. This species, like its close relative commonly known as Chinese Houses, C. grandiflora is showy with 1–4 flowers per node. The flowers are pea-like with five petals that are fused into a pouch-like tube on the upper side. The fused lower petals are deep purple with a patch of white toward the throat. The two upper petals are pale in color with purple flecking that may serve as a nectar guide for insects.
DISTRIBUTION: Found in grassy or gravelly margins of coniferous woodlands from 400–1600m, from northwestern California north to British Columbia.