Phacelia dubia

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Phacelia dubia
Phacelia dubia - Appalachian phacelia.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Phacelia
P. dubia
Binomial name
Phacelia dubia

Phacelia parviflora Pursh
Phacelia pusilla Buckley
Polemonium dubium L.

Phacelia dubia (known by the common names smallflower phacelia or Appalachian phacelia) is an annual forb native to the eastern United States,[2] that produces cream colored or light blue flowers in early spring.


Botanical illustration of Phacelia dubia (1913)

Phacelia dubia has slender ascending stems which are 12 to 30 centimeters long, finely pubescent or smooth, and branched from the base. Its lower and basal leaves are petiolate, 2.5 to 5 centimeters long, and dentate or with pinnatifid lobes. Its upper leaves are sessile, much smaller, and less divided. The flowers are 8 to 11 millimeters broad. They are borne on 6 to 15 millimeter long pedicles, in racemes of 5 to 15 flowers. The fruit is a capsule 3 millimeters in diameter.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Phacelia dubia is widely distributed in the eastern United States, although local distribution may be spotty. It has been recorded in Alabama, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. This species is presumed extirpated from the state of Ohio.[2] In Virginia, it grows in habitats such as well drained floodplain forests, rocky woodlands, barrens, and fields.[4] The presence of this species is dependent on appropriate habitat, and it may be eliminated from an area by development, changes in land use, or competition with invasive species.


This species is a member of the genus Phacelia, which was formerly placed in the Hydrophyllaceae family, but has more recently been placed in the Boraginaceae family, in keeping with the findings of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.[5]


  1. ^ "Phacelia dubia (L.) Trel. & Small - The Plant List". Retrieved January 24, 2014. The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet;
  2. ^ a b "Plants Profile for Phacelia dubia (smallflower phacelia)". Retrieved January 24, 2014. USDA, NRCS. 2014. The PLANTS Database ( National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
  3. ^ Britton, Nathaniel Lord & Brown, Addison (1913). An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions: From Newfoundland to the Parallel of the Southern Boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean Westward to the 102d Meridian, Volume 3., p. 69. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.
  4. ^ "Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora | Phacelia dubia (L.) Trel. var. dubia". Retrieved February 8, 2014. Virginia Botanical Associates. (2014). Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora ( c/o Virginia Botanical Associates, Blacksburg.
  5. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society 141:399-436., cited in Walter Fertig "Farewell to the Aceraceae: Changes in the Angiosperm Family Tree" (PDF). Retrieved February 8, 2014. The University of Montana Herbarium Newsletter. (Spring 2011). University of Montana, Missoula, MT. Archived 2014-03-06 at the Wayback Machine