Phacelia bipinnatifida Michx.
Fernleaf phacelia, Fernleaf scorpion weed, Spotted phacelia, Loose-flowered phacelia
Hydrophyllaceae (Waterleaf Family)
Synonym(s): Phacelia bipinnatifida var. plummeri, Phacelia brevistyla
USDA Symbol: PHBI2
Fern-leaf scorpion-weed or phacelia is a 1-2 ft. biennial with a loose, open-branched habit and large, light-green leaves divided into five deeply lobed segments. The numerous round, lavender-blue flowers are about 1 in. in diameter and occur in elongate inflorescences.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Biennial
Leaf Pubescence: Puberulent
Size Notes: 1 to 2 feet tall
Flower: Flowers half an inch
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Color usually described as violet-blue. A biennial that blooms early to mid-spring of its second year.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MD , MO , MS , NC , OH , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: VA to IN & MO, s. to GA mts. & AR
Native Habitat: Cool, rich, moist woods; Blue Ridge Mountains; Zones 5 to 8
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Loose, moist, acid, sometimes rocky soils. Tolerates lime.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Good for delicate spring color in the shade.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: This phacelia propagates readily from seed. Because it self-sows so freely, its often easiest to bypass seed collection and simply transplant the self-sown seedlings.
Seed Collection: Since this phacelia begins flowering at the bottom of the stalk and progesses upward, seeds will mature first in the basal fruits. Seeds in the upper capsules are generally ready to collect when the lower capsules have split. Cleaned seeds should be stored dry in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Because it self-sows vigorously and is short-lived, dying soon after it blooms in its second year, Phacelia bipinnatifida should be allowed plenty of room in a naturalistic, woodland setting to move around as it wishes. If you want to maintain it in precise spots, transplant seedlings in the fall to preferred locations.
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Phacelia bipinnatifida in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phacelia bipinnatifida in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phacelia bipinnatifida
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff