The Sonoran Desert Florilegium

plants of the florilegium

Phacelia crenulata
Scorpionweed

FAMILY:  Hydrophyllaceae — Waterleaf Family

ETYMOLOGY:  The name of the genus Phacelia is based on the Greek word phakelos, or 'cluster', a reference to the tight grouping of flowers that form a coil at the end of the flower stalk.

The species name crenulata derives from two Latin words, cren, or 'notches', and lat, meaing 'wide', a description of the plant's scalloped leaves.

The common name Scorpionweed describes the flower clusters that grow in a curling formation, much like the curled tail of the scorpion. This common name is shared by a number of other species.

DESCRIPTION:  The violet-purple bell-shaped flowers of the scorpionweed, a spring annual, are clustered in a tight coil at the end of reddish brown, sticky, bristly stems. After pollination, as the seed capsule develops, the coil straightens and eventually forms a dry v-shaped stem with weedpods along its length. The dark green leaves have many lobes and are covered with fine hairs. when drushed, the leaves release an onion-like odor.

Scorpionweed can grow to a height of 18". It blooms from February to June on plains, mesas, and foothills below elevations of 4,000'.