Phacelia bipinnatifida Michx.

Phacelia bipinnatifida plant

Family - Hydrophyllaceae

Stems - Erect, branching, from a short caudex and thickened roots, single from the base, purple below, villous to hispid, herbaceous.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, typically trifoliolate or 5-foliolate. Petioles to +/-10cm long, villous to hispid. Blades green above, silvery-green below, pubescent. Leaflets to +/-6cm long, +/-5cm broad, lowest leaflets with silver mottling above. Petiolule of terminal leaflet longer than those of lateral leaflets. Leaflets often divided to 3-lobed. Ultimate divisions acute.

Phacelia bipinnatifida leaves

Inflorescence - Terminal paniculate cymes, elongating in fruit. Axis of inflorescence with glandular and simple, villous. Pedicels to 5mm in flower, longer in fruit.

Flowers - Corolla campanulate, 5-lobed, purple, 7mm long and broad. Sparsely villous externally, glabrous internally. Lobes rounded, 3mm broad and long. Stamens 5, alternating with the corolla lobes, erect, adnate at base of corolla tube. Filaments white, with a few villous hairs, to 3.2mm long. Anthers orange, -2mm long. Ovary superior, green, with erect villous pubescence, 1mm long, unilocular. Placentation free central. Calyx deeply 5-lobed, accrescent. Lobes spreading, linear, 5-6mm long, 1mm broad, (in flower), glandular pubescent. Fruit subglobose, densely villous and glandular pubescence, 4-valved.

Phacelia bipinnatifida flowers

Phacelia bipinnatifida calyxCalyx.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Rich rocky woods, moist slopes, rocky streambanks.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This fine species can be found in the east-central portions of Missouri. Despite its small flowers, the plant is still striking because of its mottled, purplish leaves. It should be cultivated more and grows readily from seed.

Photographs taken outside of Van Buren, MO., 4-16-01, and at Reform Conservation Area, Callaway County, MO., 3-11-04.