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Bee Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia

Previously known as:

  • Phacelia commixta
  • Phacelia tripinnata
Phonetic Spelling
fa-SEE-lee-uh tan-uh-see-tee-FOH-lee-uh
Description

An annual widely used in Europe and gaining traction in the US with feathery leaves and fiddle-head clusters of purple blooms that make it very attractive to pollinators.  It is often used in the seed mix of a cover crop.   It propagates easily from seed, just sow directly on top of the soil after the last frost.  Scratching the seed coat and soaking overnight can improve germination rates.  Because it does self-seeds so easily it can become weedy in certain areas.  However, its beneficial characteristics of being an attractive pollinator plant often outway its weedy tendencies as it is easy to till back into the soil adding nitrogen.   It has a taproot and dense fibrous roots as well.  It is drought tolerant, prefers full sun and withstands sandy or rocky soil.  It will suffer in waterlogged conditions.  It is winter hardy to 18 degrees F.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#purple flowers#weedy#honey bees#feathery leaves#nectar plant#cover plant#meadow#food source#naturalizes#borders#self-seeding#hairy leaves#lavendar#fiddlehead#fern-like#pollinator plant#rocky soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#purple flowers#weedy#honey bees#feathery leaves#nectar plant#cover plant#meadow#food source#naturalizes#borders#self-seeding#hairy leaves#lavendar#fiddlehead#fern-like#pollinator plant#rocky soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phacelia
    Species:
    tanacetifolia
    Family:
    Boraginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    California to Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract bees and other pollinators. It provides high-quality nectar and pollen. It also supports beneficial predators and parasitoids.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Two brown wrinkled seeds are produced in the ovoid fruit. Seeds drop to the ground when the fruit is mature.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Description:
    Early to late spring and into the summer dense clusters of dusty purple-blue flowers open sequentially on fiddle-head shaped stems. There are 5 fuzzy sepals and the bell-shaped flowers have a fused corolla center parts of the flowers, darker purple stamens and styles stick out beyond the petals.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Pinnatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Fern-like leaves variable sizes up to 8" bipinnatifid oblong to ovate compound divided into leaflets with toothed lobes.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Erect, or semi-erect, glandular with short stiff hairs, succulent
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Weedy