Thursday, April 20, 2006

Scorpion weed - Phacelia campanularia

Aka, California bluebell or desert bluebell, Wild Heliotrope. Waterleaf Family (Hydrophyllaceae) now Boraginaceae according to Wikipedia.

I thought I'd try a different sort of annual instead of the usual ones we plant. I saw some pictures of the California bluebell and this seemed a perfect plant to go in several sunny dry spots we have in the garden. I had some very good results last year planting a kind of salvia but it grew to about 3 feet + tall and shaded many of the smaller permanent shrubs so I needed something shorter. Phacelia campanularia has a nice blue flower with scalloped leaves for added interest and only supposed to grow to about a foot tall. I was able to find seeds in bulk fairly cheaply from a company in Vermont. The seeds arrived very quickly and this company seem to have an interesting variety of flower seeds. You can see the flower on their website, American Meadows.

Some tidbits about Phacelia.
Phacelia: based on the Greek phakelos, meaning "cluster," and alluding to the densely crowded flower spikes of most species of the genus (ref. genus Phacelia) from the calflora website. This is an informative site for the derivation of latin names of plants.

From Wikipedia: "Phacelia is a genus in the family Boraginaceae of about 150 species of herbs, native of Western North America (the most), Eastern U.S.A. and South America. The genus was formerly treated in the separate family Hydrophyllaceae but was transferred by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group to the Boraginaceae on genetic evidence."

So there you have it. Since it's going to rain tomorrow, I'll scratch the seeds into the dry ground today. Will post pics as soon as they bloom.


Blogger Lynne said...

word verification will take care of your annoying spamers. have a nice day. wish I had full sun for the bluebells. :(

4:20 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks for the tip Lynne. How do I set up word verification? So far I've just deleted unwanted comments or links to promote businesses unless they're garden related and may be of interest to gardners. We lived in Seattle for a number of years and the overcast skies and prolonged days of darkness finally got to us. But with global warming who knows you may have more sun!

6:53 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

Okay, Go to your Dashboard and click on your blog name & click on the Settings tab then click on the Comments tab. click 'yes' for word vertification to be turned on.

The spammers will be gone! Folks who want to leave
comments won't mind the extra time it takes to type in a few letters where spammers won't. Those who want to leave a message will have to sign up for an account in order to leave a message on your site. some might not want to do that. hope this works for you. otherwise just delete!! Have a wonderful day!

6:29 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thank you very much. Let's see if this little trick will get rid of the automated spammers. Now that I've enable word verification it even asked me to type in letter to post this comment! Ouch. Hey I'm the owner of this blog.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

LOL!! I know! whats up with that? O'well, better safe than annoyed!
look forward to your next post...............lets see....what letters are those below?......hmmmmmm

12:51 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks again for the tip. Hey your flowers have changed. Was that weigelia and now it's bleeding heart?

1:41 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Came across this post looking for seeds for

Just to let you know, out here in the land of scorpions, we reserve the name 'scorpion weed' for another, but closely related plant, Phacelia crenulata. Crenulata gets taller, but it's blooms are a washed blue, much less intense than the campanularia.

Thought you wouldn't mind knowing this.

Did your bluebells thrive? Did they reseed themselves?

8:37 PM  

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