The photo above shows threadleaf phacelia as seen along the old Vantage Highway on the east bank of the Columbia River north of Vantage, WA........................April 30, 2007.
Also known as narrow-leaved phacelia, threadleaf phacelia is an attractive annual with either a simple, unbranched stem, or more often, an erect, many-branched stem from 12.5-50 cm high. The herbage consists of minute, fine, short hairs and additional bristles over much of the plant. The leaves are all found on the stems. They are narrow or linear in shape, either sessile or with short petioles, and from 1.5-11 cm long and 1.5-12 mm wide. Some of the leaves bear 1-4 narrow, diverging segments or lobes from below mid-leaf.
The attractive flowers are clustered at the tops of the stems or branches with blue-lavender corollas which are broadly campanulate (like flared bells), the openings 8-18 mm wide The sepals are narrow or linear, with bristly margins, and the stamens are about equal in length to the corolla lobes, but extend beyond the mouth of the flower as the corolla lobes flare outwards. The style is cleft less than a third of its length.
Plants are occasionally available from nurseries and make interesting additions for dry, sunny sections at the front of the garden.
Threadleaf phacelia is usually found in dry open places or dry open woods at low to middle elevations.
Threadleaf phacelia may be found from southern British Columbia south along the eastern edge of the Cascades to northern California, and east to Alberta, Utah, and Wyoming.