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Bodger, Jack B.
Phacelia campanularia Gray
Desertbells, Blue bells, Desert Canterbury bells
USDA Symbol: PHCA3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
An 8-16 in. annual with 1 in. wide, bell-shaped, deep-blue flowers. The flowers, with protruding golden anthers, are arranged in rolled, 1-sided racemes; the raceme unrolling as the flowers open. A stiff, erect, leafy, glandular-hairy plant with dark blue, bell-like flowers in loose coils at end of a branched open cluster. Leaves are round to oval; both they and the reddish stems are covered with fine hairs.
In a spring following a wet winter, thousands of these plants will bloom, forming masses of deep rich blue. The similar California Bell (P. minor), found in southern California and northern Baja California, has a violet corolla with a cream spot on each lobe, the opening slightly constricted, and hair on the expanded stamen bases.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr
CA , NY Native Distribution:
Deserts of s. CA Native Habitat:
Dry, sandy places below 4000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(I)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy or gravelly soil.
Conditions Comments: Hairs on the stems and leaves give some people a mild rash.
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds in late summer or early fall. Sow on top of soil as light is needed for germination.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No special treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
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Record Modified: 2012-06-18
Research By: TWC Staff