Boraginaceae-Phacelia-w2017-08-17T14:18:44+00:00

   Boraginaceae: Borage Family — Phacelia (white-flowered)

Shortlobe Phacelia – Phacelia brachyloba

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

8–60 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Sandy places, especially after burns

Notes:

Flowers are pure white with a yellow center.  A small, erect plant, sometimes branched from its base.  Leaves are 15–45 mm long, elliptic to oblanceolate and deeply lobed or compound. Can be found in profusion after fires.

Common Phacelia – Phacelia distans

Blooms:

Mar–May

Plant Height:

15–80 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Slopes in clay or rocky soils

Notes:

Flowers are generally white or whitish and leaves are pinnately lobed with clearly toothed segments.  Stems are decumbent to erect, simple or branched from the base. Flowers may be bluish-purple in which case the throat will have darker lavender spots (allowing one to distinguish this form from Great Valley Phacelia (Phacelia ciliata)).

Santa Lucia Phacelia – Phacelia grisea

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

10–60 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Gravelly areas, after burns

Notes:

A fire follower, sometimes found in profusion.  It has almost translucent flowers, generally white but occasionally pale lavender.  They are sometimes described as having windows.  Leaves are simple, not compound, gray-green, lanceolate to ovate and may be toothed or lobed.

Imbricate Phacelia – Phacelia imbricata var. imbricata

Blooms:

Apr–Aug

Plant Height:

20–120 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Dry rocky places below 2300 m

Notes:

This phacelia has distinctive leaves and flowers.  Leaves are compound with narrow, lanceolate segments, the terminal segment being much longer than those below it.  The flowers are generally more or less cylindric (occasionally more bell-shaped) in panicle-like inflorescences with strongly exserted stamens and style (about twice as long as the petals). The calyx lobes are important in identifying this species, narrowly ovate to ovate or obovate and more or less overlapping in fruit.  Both stems and calyx lobes are often glandular. This species is easily confused with Kaweah River Phacelia (Phacelia egena) but this is a smaller plant (no more than 60 cm tall), has flowers which are more bell-shaped, calyx lobes which are linear to oblanceolate and not overlapping in fruit and is not glandular.

Stinging Phacelia – Phacelia malvifolia varmalvifolia

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

20–100 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Sandy or gravelly soils, many communities

Notes:

This phacelia has simple, not compound, coarse, leaves which are covered in stiff, bulb-based stinging hairs.  The flowers are a dirty white in an open bell shape.  Very common, especially by the coast.

Shade Phacelia – Phacelia nemoralis varnemoralis

Blooms:

Apr–July

Plant Height:

50–200 cm

Flower Size:

Small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Moist places below 1150 m

Notes:

Like Imbricate Phacelia (Phacelia imbricata), this has compound leaves with a large terminal segment, although larger and broader in this species.  The inflorescence is in a tight, almost spherical head before the flowers develop. The flowers themselves are cylindric to bell-shaped and greenish-white in color. The common name indicates where the plant is most likely to be seen.