Phacelia cicutaria

Phacelia cicutaria (Caterpillar Phacelia or Caterpillar Scorpionweed) is an annual species of Phacelia native to California and southern Nevada. It grows mainly in chaparral, frequently in burnt areas[1] or on rocky slopes.

Phacelia cicutaria is an upright annual shrub growing up to than 0.6 m (2') high. Its foliage is deeply lobed, 2-15 cm. (1-6") long, with spiked segments[2]. The flower buds are held in tight, hairy coils which uncoil as the flowers open one by one. The flowering stems' resemblance of caterpillars lends this plant its common name. Flowers appear Mar-May and are dirty-white to pale lavendar in color.

Phacelia cicutaria is drought tolerant, making it ideal for xeriscaping. It can be propagated by seed, germination of which may be stimulated by the presence of charred wood aqueous extracts of it[3].


  1. Dale, Nancy; Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains, Capra Press, 1986
  2. Baskin, Carol C.; Baskin, Jerry M. 2002. Propagation protocol for production of container Phacelia cicutaria Greene plants
  3. Jepson Manual, University of California, 1993

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Phacelia cicutaria


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