Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Marcus, Joseph A.
Phacelia congesta Hook.
Blue curls, Caterpillars, Fiddleneck
Synonym(s): Phacelia congesta var. dissecta
USDA Symbol: phco2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Caterpillars or blue curls is a leafy annual or biennial which grows 1-3 ft. tall. Its purple to lavender-blue, bell-shaped flowers, deeply lobed at the rim, have conspicuously protruding stamens. The flowers are numerous, in slender, coiled clusters which uncurl as the buds develop. Leaves are soft and deeply cut, appearing ragged-looking. The plant is usually found in large colonies.
Plant CharacteristicsHabit: Herb Inflorescence: Compound Cyme
, Cyme Flower:
Petals 5 Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, TX Native Distribution:
W. & n. TX
to e. AZ
& n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs, Hillsides, Slopes, Woodlands edge, Opening, Ditches, Ravines, Depressions, Ledges
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry Soil Description:
Sandy or rocky soils. Gravelly, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Limestone/chalky, Clay, Clay Loam, Medium Loam Conditions Comments:
Blue curls is a leafy annual
or biennial. Its purple to lavender-blue, bell-shaped flowers are deeply lobed at the rim. The flowers are numerous, in slender, coiled clusters which uncurl as the buds develop. Leaves are soft and deeply cut, appearing ragged-looking. The plant is usually found in large colonies. Blue curls does best if sheltered from the west sun. Its stem
is brittle and breaks easily.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Blooms ornamental, Planned landscape
Use Wildlife: Pollen-insects, Flowers-Bees, Nectar- bees, Nectar- butterflies
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Easy to grow from seed sown in fall.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native plants for container gardens in Central Texas
March 11, 2008
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I moved to TX last year, for now living in an apartment with a good-size but shady deck; my garden in VA was full of VA native plants. What TX natives, if any, can I grow in ...
view the full question and answer
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 1097
Collected Apr. 23, 1997 in Bexar County by Harry CliffeNPSOT 0369
Collected May 13, 1993 in Comal County by Mary Beth WhiteNPSOT 0054
Collected May 4, 1990 in Bexar County by Lottie MillsapsNPSOT 0004
Collected April 15,1990 in Bexar County by Judith C. BerryNPSOT 0583
Collected May 11, 1990 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-642
Collected 2008-05-27 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: NPC