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Wild Heliotrope
Phacelia distans
  
About Wild Heliotrope (Phacelia distans) 4 Nurseries Carry This Plant Phacelia distans is a species in the Boraginaceae (Borage) family known by the common name distant phacelia. It is native to much of California including the coastal mountain ranges, valleys, and deserts, adjacent sections of Nevada and Arizona, and parts of northern Mexico. It grows in many types of habitats and is a common wildflower in its range. It is a variable annual herb growing decumbent to erect, its branching or unbranched stem 15 to 80 centimeters in length. It is usually coated in soft or stiff glandular hairs which some people find foul-smelling when touched. The leaves are up to 10 to 15 centimeters long and are divided into several lobed leaflets, sometimes intricately. The hairy flower cluster is a one-sided curving or coiling cyme of many funnel- or bell-shaped flowers. The flower is just under a centimeter long and is usually blue but may be white or varying shades of lavender or purple. It is most often used in a wildflower garden where it is grown from seed. Under suitable conditions it will re-seed itself. As with all annuals, careful weeding is essential.


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
0.16 - 2.6 ft tall
2.6 ft wide

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Unpleasant

Flower Color
Flower Color
Purple, Lavender

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 3 confirmed , 6 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Never irrigate once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils as long as drainage is good. Soil PH: 5.5 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Use with regionally appropriate annual wildflowers and perennial shrubs including Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Ceanothus sp., California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata), Lupine (Lupinus sp.), Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), and a variety of cactus and succulent speciess

Propagation
Propagation?
By seed

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
3, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10, 11*, 12*, 13*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Clay or rocky slopes

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 2.7" - 56.9", Summer Precipitation: 0.13" - 3.21", Coldest Month: 25.4" - 61.4", Hottest Month: 50.3" - 88.8", Humidity: 0.39" - 42.81", Elevation: -34" - 9047"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Phacelia cinerea
Common Names: Distant Phacelia, Distant Scorpion-weed


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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