Phacelia gilioides Brand

Phacelia gilloides plant

Family - Hydrophyllaceae

Stems - To +30cm tall, erect, herbaceous, from a small taproot and fibrous roots, single or multiple from the base, typically simple, antrorse strigose, angled, green above, purplish at the base.

Phacelia gilloides stem

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate below, sessile above. Petioles to +/-4cm long, with a shallow adaxial groove, antrorse strigose and with pillosuous hairs in the groove. Blades pinnately divided (pinnatifid), antrorse strigose, green adaxially, whitish green below. Divisions of the leaves entire or with one or two coarse teeth, oblong-elliptic, acute, 5-6mm broad, 1cm long on the lower leaves, longer and thinner on the upper leaves.

Phacelia gilloides leaves

Inflorescence - Terminal scorpoid racemes or cymes to +10cm long, compact in flower, quickly elongating in fruit. Pedicels to 1.5cm long in flower, slightly longer in fruit, densely antrorse strigose. Axis antrorse strigose.

Phacelia gilloides inflorescence

Flowers - Corolla blue-purple, 5-lobed, to 1.5cm broad. Lobes rounded, 5-6mm broad and long, fimbriate, glabrous internally, pillosuous externally. Tube of corolla whitish with purple spots at the bases of the lobes, +/-5mm long. Stamens 5, erect, exserted. Filaments white with a slightly purplish apex, pilose, +/-6mm long. Anthers purple, 2mm long, 1mm broad. Ovary obconic, 1.2mm long and broad, densely antrorse ciliate. Style 1, +/-5mm long, bifurcate in the apical 2-3mm, glabrous, greenish-translucent to purplish. Sepals 5, spreading, linear-oblong, green, to +/-5mm long, 1-1.5mm broad, acute, ciliate.

Phacelia gilloides flowerFlower close-up.

Phacelia gilloides calyxCalices.

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Woodland openings, bluff ledges, rocky open glades, rich woods, wet meadows, gravel bars, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This attractive little species can be found throughout much of the Ozark region of Missouri but is apparently absent from the south-central portion of the state. This species is much more common than the similar P. purshii Buckl. which has much more deeply fimbriate-margined flower petals than does P. gilioides.
P. gilioides grows well from seed and makes a neat little garden plant.

Photographs taken in Columbia, MO., 4-15-04 and 4-27-04.