Wednesday, June 28, 2023

New (to me) flower

I'm not normally stopped in my tracks by a flower I've never seen before, but it just happened yesterday. I may not be able to identify every wildflower around here, you understand, but at least I can recognize almost everything (if that makes sense).

But yesterday morning while walking Mr. Darcy back home, I took our lower driveway and saw a flowering plant growing straight out of a gravel pile. Somehow I hadn't noticed it earlier, and I had never seen this plant before. The flowers were a fiddleneck style, similar to the lacy phacelia we used to plant in our old garden as a rich nectar source for our honeybees.

But these flowers were white, not purple like lacy phacelia. What could it be? I scoured my flower books and couldn't identify it.

Finally Older Daughter looked it up on a flower-identifying gizmo on her phone, and correctly identified it: Shade phacelia (Phacelia nemoralis), a native perennial. Well, what do you know. No wonder it resembled lacy phacelia. I've literally never seen these growing in the wild, much less thriving straight out of a gravel pile.

Online sources say it "prefers moist slopes, stream banks, and mixed evergreen or coniferous forests." A gravel pile is the last place I expected such a plant, but there's no question it's large and beautiful.

I sincerely hope this flower spreads (I may harvest the seeds and help it along).    

Not only is it native, but it's also a nitrogen fixer and an enormous attractant to pollinators because of its rich nectar. Woot!


  1. I love that you like all the plants, wild and cultivated! I have been on my place for almost 20 years and have identified over 60 edible and medicinal plants! Most people call them weeds. Not me!
    Summer garden is winding down here in East texas. I hope your garden is productive this year.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  2. Sounds like it may have arrived via the gravel!