Phacelia spp

Phacelia is a genus of flowering plants that is native to North and South America. These plants are known for their attractive blue, purple, or white flowers and their ability to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Phacelia is a beautiful and versatile plant that can add both aesthetic and ecological value to an Arizona pollinator garden. This plant produces clusters of delicate, blue or purple flowers that are attractive to a variety of native bees, including bumblebees, sweat bees, and mason bees.

Phacelia is also a larval host plant for the painted lady butterfly, making it a valuable addition for supporting local ecosystems. By planting Phacelia in a pollinator garden, gardeners can not only enhance its visual appeal but also provide nectar and pollen resources for native bees and support the growth and survival of the painted lady butterfly.

There are several species of Phacelia that can be found in the Sonoran Desert. Some of them include:

  • P. arizonica, Arizona Scorpionweed, is a perennial native that blooms February-May with white to pale lavender flowers.
  • P. campanularia, Desert Bluebells, is native annual to the upland areas of the Mojave desert and the Sonoran Desert. Flowers in March and April with deep medium to dark blue flowers. Can cause dermatitis for people sensitive to poison oak or poison ivy.
  • P. crenulata, Notch-leaved Scorpionweed, is a native annual that blooms February-June with purple, violet and sometimes white flowers.
  • P. distans, Distant Phacelia, is an annual or perennial native that clambers up to 2.5′ tall, producing blue, bright blue or whitish flowers in February-May.

Flowers: February to May
Status: Native
Origin: Southwest United States, Mexico
Family: Hydrophyllaceae (Waterleaf family)
Size: Various
Sun: Full
Watering: Once or twice a week during the growing season
Growth Rate: Fast
Soil: Well-draining soil
Temperature: Frost sensitive
Disease and Pests:
Uses: Larval host plant for the painted lady butterfly. Attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators


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