Desert Bell

Desert Bluebell; aka,
Desert Bells,
California Bluebell,
Wild Canterbury Bell, or
Harebell Phacelia


Native of southeastern deserts of California, because the Desert Bluebell (Phacelia campanularia) has long been included in wildflower seed mixes, it has taken advantage of the opportunity to extend its range, & has naturalized in many areas of the American southwest.

Even though it is a Mohave & Colorado Desert wildflower fondest of poor light soil, it doesn't much mind rainfall in temperate climates, & will grow taller & bloom longer in well draining soil that gets a bit of watering during spring. It isn't apt to reseed itself in zones with wet winter environments, but it will be a vigorous annual for its one year.

Seeds need only be sewn into lightly disturbed soil in autumn, in a full-sun low-maintenance garden, to provide bright blue fill-in flowers for spring. In our garden it reaches about ten inches tall at most, but in some conditions can reach near two feet. Veined foliage is pubescent, serated, heartshaped, & red-tinged around the edges.

Its deep gentian blue one-inch scented flowers have golden stamins. They can bloom as early as February or March, as they try to bloom before larger plonts rob them of their share of light. But for us they bloom May & June, popping up here & there in a meadowy roadside area as yet ungardened.


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