Desert Canterbury Bell (Phacelia campanularia)

Desert Canterbury Bell (Phacelia campanularia)

Phacelia campanularia is a species of flowering plant in the borage family, Boraginaceae, known by the common names desert bells, desert bluebells, California bluebell, desert scorpionweed, and desert Canturbury bells. Its true native range is within the borders of California, in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, but it is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant and it can be found growing elsewhere as an introduced species.

This annual herb has an erect stem reaching 0.7 metres (2.3 ft) in maximum height. It is covered in glandular hairs. The leaf blades are somewhat rounded with toothed edges. The inflorescence is a loose cyme of flowers. The flower has a bright blue corolla up to 4 centimeters long which can be bell-shaped, funnel-shaped, or round and flattened. It can have white spots in the throat. The protruding stamens and style can be 4.5 centimeters long. The fruit is a capsule up to 1.5 centimeters long.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.