Silky phacelia is gorgeous, which is really one of the main reasons you'll see it here. Where you won't see it is in the immediate Missoula area, at least not in the wild. It's actually more of an alpine species but does well in domestication. 

 

This fellow has fuzzy silvery dissected leaves and develops upright stalks of tightly packed fancy purple flowers. It's a bee magnet, like most phacelias. Unlike silver-leaf phacelia, which tends to be a biennial, silky phacelia is long-lived and will return year after year. 

 

As an alpine plant, silky phacelia can handle full sun, low moisture, wind, and thin rocky soil. It's perfect for a rock garden or other well-drained location. To compensate for our higher temperatures in the valley, you'll want to perhaps water it a little more or plant it in partial shade. This species is taprooted, and will need to be well-established before you cut its water supply.

 

Fun silky phacelia fact: they sequester gold from the soil. Not a lot though, so don't go harvesting them to get rich. 

 

Attribution for first and third photos, respectively:

Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jim Morefield from Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

silky phacelia

  • Phacelia sericea