Stems: simple, virgate, canescent, leafy to the top. Leaves: pinnately parted into numerous linear and again pinnatifid divisions, silky-canes-cent. Flowers: in short spikes, crowded in a naked spike-like thyrsus; calyx-lobes linear; corolla very open-campanulate, cleft to the middle; stamens long exserted.

A glorious plant, with rich purple-blue flowers clustered in huge long spike-like panicles, and handsome deeply cleft foliage, which is covered with a soft white down. The long protruding stamens give a feathery appearance to the open bell-shaped blossoms, and as it grows at extremely high altitudes, where flowers of any kind are rather rare and large showy ones almost unknown, the Mountain Phacelia is a real treasure-trove to the traveller. It has a very strong disagreeable odour.

Mountain Phacelia (Phacelia sericea)

Mountain Phacelia (Phacelia sericea)

Phacelia heterophylla, or Blue Phacelia, has stout rough-hairy stems, and lanceolate entire pointed silky white-hairy leaves, pinnately and obliquely veined, the lower one tapering into a stalk and usually having a pair of lateral leaflets. The bluish-purple flowers grow in a short dense terminal spike and smaller axillary spikes, and the filaments are much exserted and sparingly bearded.