Phacelia hirsuta Nutt.

Phacelia hirsuta plant

Family - Hydrophyllaceae

Stems - From taproot, to 30cm tall, erect to ascending, branching, herbaceous, hirsute.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate below to sessile above, pinnately lobed or divided. Petioles winged, hirsutulous. Blades to 6cm long, 3cm broad, dense appressed pubescent to strigose. Lobes entire, blunt to acute.

Phacelia hirsuta leaves

Inflorescence - Terminal indeterminate helicoid cymes with +/-20 flowers. Flowers secund. Pedicels to +1cm long, hirsute.

Flowers - Corolla broad campanulate, 1.1cm broad, pubescent externally, 5-lobed, purplish-blue. Lobes obtuse, purplish internally with deep purple spots surrounded by white at base, lilac externally. Stamens 5, exserted, erect, alternating with corolla lobes, adnate at base of corolla tube. Filaments to 5mm long, pilose. Anthers purple, 2mm long, .9mm broad. Style 1.5-2mm long, mostly glabrous but with a few hairs at base. Stigma 2-lobed. Lobes 1.5mm long. Ovary hirsute(at least at apex), superior. Placentation parietal. Calyx lobes 5, spreading, hirsute, oblong, +/-2mm broad, +5mm long, subequal to unequal.

Phacelia hirsuta flower

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Rocky fields and prairies, moist soils of valleys, glades, bluffs, open woods, roadsides.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This little plant is easy to overlook as it grows amongst some taller grasses and broadleafs. The flowers wilt very quickly in hot sun. The pictures above were taken early in the morning, hence the dew on the plants.
The plant shown above is form hirsuta, which has the typical blue flowers. Form albiflora Palmer and Steyermark has white flowers and is rare.
This species can be found in basically the lower 1/4 of Missouri except the southeastern corner of the state.

Photographs taken in the Hercules Glade Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 4-28-00.


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