Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Central South Wildflowers in my Garden
Purple Phacelia (Phacelia bipinnatifida) Scorpion Weed
This sweet lavender-blue flowered biennial is one of my favorites. The divided and toothed leaves have a mottled purple coloring. It has an open and loose branching that gives it a delicate appearance. The flowers are small but numerous and bloom from the bottom up. It blooms April through May and reseeds quite nicely. Don't worry it isn't a thug. Since, it's a shallow rooted plant, you can easily move the seedlings.
I think it looks lovely by it self, but it is more effective when planted in drifts across the woodland garden. It looked especially nice on a hillside in a friend's garden. She gardens on a steep slope and each spring there are lovely drifts of lavender blue.
If you want it to be at home in your garden plant it in a low, moist spot. Fluffing up the soil with some good compost will help. Being a biennial expect Phacelia to take 2 years to become fully established.
My Garden: It's happy in two spots; in the shade of a witch hazel and in a small wildflower garden. The soil is thin and rocky but there is enough moisture to keep it happy and I occasionally water them. I have tried to get it to grow in other parts of the garden, but seedlings didn't survive transplanting and broadcast seeds failed to sprout. Moisture is a definite must have for this wildflower. The middle photo is a second year plant and will flower this spring, it has a much more pronounced purple mottled color than the photo of Phacelia I took at the Ashland City Greenway (last photo).
Bloom time: April through May
Flower Color: Lavender blue
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Soil: rich, moist woodlands
Origin: Native to US
I think this is an under used native wildflower that can give your woodland an extra bit of color. So give it a try.
Thanks for stopping by,