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Phacelia heterophylla
Phacelia heterophylla (Varied-leaf Phacelia)
Boraginaceae
(Forget-Me-Not Family)

Foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Priest Gulch Trail, June 29, 2005.

Sometimes omitted from flower books, Phacelia heterophylla is none-the-less a fairly common plant in our area.  It is easily overlooked because of its overall "just green" look.  A careful examination will show it to be as fascinating as other Phacelias with their protruding stamens and their often coiled, scorpion-like tails.  All parts of the plant are very hairy.  Plant height ranges from five to thirty inches.

The genus Phacelia ("Greek for "bundle", referring to the clustered flowers) was named by Christophe Jussieu. "Heterophylla" is Greek for "different leaves", referring to the varying shapes and sizes of the plant's leaves.

Phacelia heterophylla was first collected by Meriwether Lewis on the Lewis and Clark Expedition and was named and described by Frederick Pursh in his Flora Americana in 1814.

Phacelia heterophylla
Phacelia heterophylla (Varied-leaf Phacelia)
Boraginaceae
(Forget-Me-Not Family
)

Foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Prairie Dog Knoll Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, June 25, 2007.

Phacelia heterophylla

Phacelia heterophylla

Phacelia heterophylla

Phacelia heterophylla (Varied-leaf Phacelia)
Boraginaceae
(Forget-Me-Not Family)

Foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Prairie Dog Knoll Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, June 25, 2004.
Priest Gulch Trail, June 29, 2005.

Phacelia heterophylla flower heads first appear as tight green spheres,

white flowers open from the sphere,

and eventually the sphere opens into an arching scorpion tail and flowers fade to rusts.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Phacelia heterophylla