PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Bee Friend a.k.a. Lacy Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetafolium)

Feed the bees! This beautiful, lacy-leaved annual has stunning, cosmically ethereal purple flowers that unfurl like fiddlehead ferns, offering up a veritable smorgasbord of sustenance for bees, butterflies, and insects of all types. Especially beloved by bumble bees. In addition to being a lovely annual flower, it’s often recommended as a summer cover crop.

Phacelia is listed as one of the top 20 honey-producing flowers for honeybees and is also highly attractive to bumblebees and syrphid (hover) flies. Phacelia’s habit of flowering abundantly and for a long period can increase beneficial insect numbers and diversity, because it provides high quality nectar and pollen. It’s also useful as a cut flower with its unusual and attractive blooms, strong stems, and long vase life.

It is native from most of California to Arizona and reaches into Northern Mexico and Southern Oregon. It thrives in a wide range of climates from New England to the Pacific NW too. Save the seeds to plant out next year or just let it scatter itself around.