Phacelia crenulata, Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope
Scientific Name: Phacelia crenulata
Common Name: Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope
Also Called: Caterpillar Weed, Caterpillarweed, Cleft-leaf Wild Heliotrope, Heliotrope Phacelia, Notchleaf Phacelia, Notch-leafed Phacelia, Notch-leaf Scorpion-weed and Scorpion-weed.
Family: Hydrophyllaceae (Boraginaceae, Hydrophylloideae), the Waterleaf Family
Size: Up to 2 feet more or less, usually much less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems erect, glandular hair short-hairs.
Leaves: Green; shape variable, margins scalloped or deeply lobed, leaves are reduced in size toward the top of the plant.
Flower Color: Purple, violet-purple, (rarely white); flowers bell-shaped, often with a white throat, showy, attractive with deep violet-purple color, flowers on short pedicel, fruit a capsule.
Flowering Season: February to June
Elevation: Below 4,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Plains, mesas and foothills and sandy or gravelly washes.
Recorded Range: In the United States Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope is found in; AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX and UT. It is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Phacelia crenulata.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available..
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 49 species of genus, California has 96 species, Nevada has 54 species, New Mexico has 23 species, Texas has 13 species, Utah has 42 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
5 varieties in Phacelia crenulata;
Phacelia crenulata var. ambigua, Purplestem Phacelia (AZ, CA, NV, UT);
Phacelia crenulata var. angustifolia, Cleftleaf Phacelia (AZ, UT);
Phacelia crenulata var. corrugata, Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope (AZ, CO, NM, NV, TX, UT);
Phacelia crenulata var. crenulata, Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope (AZ, CA, NM, NV, UT);
Phacelia crenulata var. minutiflora, Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope (AZ, CA, UT).
Comments: With over 150 species of Phacelia in Arizona, Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope is one of our more common. This species has an foul unpleasant onion-like odor and may cause skin rash with its glandular hairs.
Special Value to Native Bees; Species of the genus Phacelia are known to, or thought to attract large numbers of native bees including Yellow Faced Bees, Miner Bees and Mason Bees. This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
In Southwest Desert Flora also see; Desert Bluebells, Phacelia campanularia, Distant Phacelia, Phacelia distans, Fremont's Phacelia, Phacelia fremontii, Varileaf-Phacelia, Phacelia heterophylla, Kaweah River Scorpion-weed, Phacelia magellanica and Lacy Phacelia, Phacelia tanacetifolia.
Cleftleaf Wildheliotrope is used injury in animals, sore throats and swellings (anti-rheumatic).
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.