Phacelia campanularia

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Phacelia campanularia
Conservation status

Vulnerable (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: (unplaced)
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Phacelia
Species: P. campanularia
Binomial name
Phacelia campanularia

Phacelia campanularia is a species of flowering plant in the borage family, Boraginaceae, known by the common names desert bells, desert bluebells,[1] California bluebell,[2] desert scorpionweed,[3] and desert Canturbury bells.[4] Its true native range is within the borders of California,[1][2][3] in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, but it is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant and it can be found growing elsewhere[5] as an introduced species.


This annual herb has an erect stem reaching 0.7 metres (2.3 ft) in maximum height. It is covered in glandular hairs. The leaf blades are somewhat rounded with toothed edges. The inflorescence is a loose cyme of flowers. The flower has a bright blue corolla up to 4 centimeters long which can be bell-shaped, funnel-shaped, or round and flattened. It can have white spots in the throat. The protruding stamens and style can be 4.5 centimeters long. The fruit is a capsule up to 1.5 centimeters long.[6]


Two subtaxa are usually recognized, called subspecies[1] or varieties.[6] They can intergrade in some areas.[6]

  • P. campanularia ssp. campanularia – limited to the Sonoran Desert
  • P. campanularia ssp. vasiformis – more common, with a wider range, and sometimes with larger flowers


The anthocyanin pigment phacelianin was isolated from the flowers of this species and is involved in the formation of their blue color. It is also responsible for the blue of the flowers of Evolvulus pilosus.[7]



  1. ^ a b c Phacelia campanularia. Calflora.
  2. ^ a b Phacelia campanularia. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  3. ^ a b Phacelia campanularia. NatureServe. 2012.
  4. ^ Phacelia campanularia. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. University of Texas at Austin.
  5. ^ Phacelia campanularia. USDA PLANTS.
  6. ^ a b c Phacelia campanularia. The Jepson Manual.
  7. ^ Mori, M., et al. (2006). Structure of anthocyanin from the blue petals of Phacelia campanularia and its blue flower color development. Phytochemistry 67(6), 622-29.

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