Phacelia tanacetifolia, Tansy-leaved Phacelia

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Phacelia tanacetifolia

Tansy-leaf phacelia, also known as lacy phacelia, is one of the tallest of our native flowers, growing from 2 to 4' tall. It also is one of the most widely grown in other countries, where it has an illustrious history as an attractor of beneficial insects, including bees and hoverflies. It is used as a cover crop, in vineyards, and alongside row crops (as long as the flowers bloom at different times, so powerful is the attraction of tansy phacelia's nectar and pollen). It has fuzzy lavender flowers curving to one side on a long flower stalk, which bloom for a long time and have a delightful fragrance.

Good in sun or shade, it grows 1-4' high and makes a good back of the border companion with the tallest clarkia, mountain garland (Clarkia unguiculata). With its sturdy stem and long vase-life, it can be used as a cut flower as well. Well-appreciated in Europe, it's time that we in the land of its origin started appreciating it as well.