Purple Phacelia - Phacelia Tanacetifolia
Purple phacelia, or phacelia tanacetifolia, is also known as blue tansy, purple tansy, and lacey phacelia. The 100 centimeters tall herb resembles a thistle and grows annually in the wild, producing vivid purple colored flowers which are divided up into several different clusters of lobes. The word phacelia comes from the Greek language and refers to "bundle," which represents the shape of the flowers, and the world tanacetifolia refers to the fact that it resembles the genus of Tanacetum which includes over 250 types of flowers. The purple phacelia belongs to the Hydrophyllaceae family of flowers or waterleaf family. The flower can be found growing naturally in the wilderness of over a dozen US states and is a native to at least five as well as parts of northern Mexico. The favored habitat of the purple phacelia is rocky, sandy, and otherwise dry soil in the open sun but oddly enough has been known to do well in other environments such as moist woodlands with cool rich. It is commonly found in out the Blue Ridge Mountains (the Appalachian mountain range). Blooming times include March, April, May, and June. As an annual herb, this particular species of phacelia will propagate itself from the seeds that it dropped in the previous year if it is left to its own devices. Modernly the plant is widely used as a bee attractant due to its heavy nectar production, as well as an attractant to other insects such as hoverflies which make a positive impact on local agricultural operations by consuming insects which are damaging to local crops. It can also be used as a type of natural, or "green," fertilizer quite successfully. It is also known as one of the top 20 most widely used flowers in producing honey in the United States which has dubbed it the nickname "the honey plant."