The photo above shows a close-up of the flowers and leaves of Phacelia gymnoclada as seen near Cottonwood Creek in the Pueblo Mts. of southeastern Oregon.........May 28, 2000. Other individuals in this population had much branched stems which lay prostrate against the ground.
Naked-branch phacelia is an annual with stems branched from the base, the stems prostrate to spreading and ascending from 5-20 cm long. The herbage typically consists of spreading hairs, or the hairs may be appressed on the upper leaf surfaces. Tiny black gland-tipped hairs may also be found within the inflorescence. The leaves are found both basally as well as on the stems. The leaves are occasionally opposite and are petiolate with elliptic to spatulate-obovate or rotund-ovate blades that taper gradually to the petiole. The blades vary from few-toothed to pinnately lobed or may be entire-margined. The blades vary from 0.5-2.5 cm long.
The inflorescence is a helicoid cyme. The calyx varies from 1.5-6 mm long when in fruit and is slightly longer in fruit. The somewhat showy corolla exceeds the calyx and is tubular with a bell-shaped opening. The yellow tube is mostly 5-12 mm long while the flared lavender to purple lobes are 1.5-4 mm long The filaments are shorter than the sinuses of the corolla. The style is 2-4.5 mm long and is bristly-hairy below.
Naked-branch phacelia may be found on dry, open, sandy, gravelly or clay soils on the plains and in the foothills among sagebrush.
Naked-branch phacelia may be found from Harney and Malheur Counties of southeastern Oregon south to central Nevada and to the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada in California.