Branching phacelia is a prostrate to erect, ±
suffrutescent, few-to-many-branched perennial from a woody root crown.
The stems are 1-1/2' to 3' long and are covered with a glandular
pubescence of long coarse, stiff, bulb-based hairs and shorter soft
spreading hairs. The
leaves are alternate, up to 6" long, pinnately lobed and oblong
to broadly ovate in outline. The lobes are oval to oblong and
are crenate or further lobed. The upper leaves are reduced and
almost sessile. The flowers appear in a tightly coiled inflorescence,
with the calyx lobes oblanceolate to spatulate, and the campanulate
corolla about 1/4" long, dirty-white or pale bluish to lavender.
There are from 7 to 10 3/8"-long, glabrous, much-exserted stamens
and a deeply cleft style that is somewhat shorter. The fruit is an ovoid,
sharply-bristly capsule with 2-4 deeply-pitted seeds. Branching
phacelia is found on dry rocky slopes, ridges, washes and meadows in
chaparral and other plant communities below 7500', blooming from May
to August and sometimes later. These pictures were taken in Eaton
Canyon. Ssp. latifolia and ssp. ramosissima are now joined in a single species along with several other ssps.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Phacelia
Pronunciation: fa-SEEL-ee-a ra-mo-SI-si-ma.
Click here for Botanical