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Caterpillar Phacelia
Phacelia cicutaria
  
About Caterpillar Phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant Phacelia cicutaria (Caterpillar Phacelia or Caterpillar Scorpionweed) is an annual species in the Boraginaceae (Borage) family that is native to California, southern Nevada, and Baja California. It grows mainly in chaparral, frequently in burnt areas or on rocky slopes. Phacelia cicutaria is an upright annual shrub growing up to than 0.6 meter (2') high. Its foliage is deeply lobed, 2-15 centimeter. (1-6") long, with spiked segments. The flower buds are held in tight, hairy coils which uncoil as the flowers open one by one. The flowering stems' resemblance of caterpillars lends this plant its common name. Flowers appear Mar-May and are dirty-white to pale lavender in color.

It should be noted that there are a very large number of species in the genus Phacelia. Most are annuals. Gardeners should look for species appropriate to their area and garden conditions.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Annual herb

Size
Size
0.6 - 2 ft tall
2 ft wide

Flower Color
Flower Color
Lavender, Cream, White

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 confirmed , 8 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun, Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast

Soil Description
Soil Description
Soil PH: 5.3 - 8.2

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No treatment may give satisfactory germination. Addition of a small amount of charate over the sown seeds greatly improves germination. Oven heat of 248°F for 5 mins. first further improves results. Combined trea tment has synergistic effect (Keeley and Keeley 1982).

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Sandy, gravelly or rocky slopes

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 3.5" - 51.5", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 2.42", Coldest Month: 27.8" - 59.1", Hottest Month: 54.2" - 87.8", Humidity: 0.84" - 38.88", Elevation: -32" - 7672"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Caterpillar Scorpionweed, Caterpiller Phacelia


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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