E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Phacelia sericea (Graham) A. Gray
silky phacelia
Hydrophyllaceae (Waterleaf family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #28706)

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Distribution of Phacelia sericea
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branched stem-base and a taproot; stems several, ascending to erect, silky spreading-hairy during flowering otherwise, appressed stiff-hairy to fine grey-hairy, 10-40 cm tall.
Basal and lower stem leaves alternate, oblong to oblanceolate in outline, stalked, pinnatifid, the lobes linear-oblong, silky spreading hairy, at least when young, 2-6.5 cm long; middle and upper stem leaves similar, reduced upwards.
Inflorescence a coiled, 1-sided, short, dense, spike-like, terminal cluster; corollas dark blue or purple, hairy inside and out, 5-6 mm long and wide; calyces hairy, the lobes linear; stamens long-exserted, 2-3 times as long as the corolla, glabrous.
Capsules; seeds 8-18, 1-2 mm long, pitted.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky slopes, scree slopes, talus slopes, meadows and forest openings from the montane to alpine zones; common in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in S BC, rare on Vancouver Island; E to SW AB and S to CO, NV and N CA, reportedly disjunct in E AK.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Phacelia sericea

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 252 2100 2661
Slope Gradient (%) 0 46 86
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
15 179 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(29), BAFA(6), CMA(2), ESSF(93), IDF(1), IMA(15), MH(1), MS(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Phacelia sericea subsp. sericea (Graham) A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References