[The Genus Phacelia East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia

Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa

Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa

Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa)

Silky phacelia (var. ciliosa) from 9400' on the Steens Mt, Harney County, OR.......Aug. 3, 1995.

Inflorescence of Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa) Photo at right a close-up of the inflorescence of silky phacelia (var. ciliosa) from the Steens Mt, Harney County, OR..........Aug 3, 1995.
Characteristics:

Also known as gray phacelia, silky phacelia is an attractive perennial wildflower with several to many erect or ascending stems arising 15-60 cm from a taproot. The gray herbage is not glandular, but is variously covered with silky, woolly, or straight, appressed hairs. The leaves are mostly basal with large lower leaves on the stem, the middle and upper ones reduced and becoming sessile. The leaves are pinnatifid with many cleft segments which are broad and pointed. Individual leaves vary from 3-6 cm long and are 5-9 parted, with each segment 2-3 cleft.

The inflorescence is a dense terminal panicle composed of many short, compact, coiled cymes (Note photo at right.). The corolla is purple or dark blue, bell-shaped, from 4-6 mm wide and long, with the filaments long and exserted from the mouth of the corolla. The corolla lobes are more than one-half as long as the tube. As shown at right, the stamens are long-exserted from the corolla.


Habitat:

Silky phacelia is found in rocky, open or wooded places at medium to high elevations in the mountains.


Range:

Silky phacelia (var. ciliosa) may be found east of the Cascade Range in Oregon, California, Nevada and much of Utah.


Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa) - Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa) - Inflorescence of Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa)

Basal leaves of Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa)

Silky phacelia as seen on rocky slopes on the south side of Strawberry Mountain, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness........August 3, 2011.

Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa) - Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa)

Silky phacelia as seen blooming along the North Loop Road at the head of Little Blitzen Gorge, Steens Mountain..........July 10, 2014.

Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa)

Silky phacelia as seen atop Lookout Mountain, Ochoco National Forest.........June 15, 2015.

Leaf of Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa) - Close-up of a flower of Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa) - Close-up of a flower of Blue Alpine Phacelia, Gray Phacelia, Purplefringe, Silky Phacelia: Phacelia sericea var. ciliosa (Synonyms: Phacelia ciliosa, Phacelia sericea ssp. ciliosa)

The photos above are close-ups of the flowers of silky phacelia (variety ciliosa) as seen along the north loop road of the Steens Mt, just below its intersection with the road to Kiger Gorge..........June 24, 2000. Note the very long filaments which are difficult to get in focus!

Paul Slichter