I am a lucky one. I live in a place with some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the world. I love taking hikes around California and coming across nature's beauty. Walking on a path and spotting the brilliant bloom of a wildflower is like finding a gift. This might sound cheesy to some but I find it quite renewing knowing that with all the madness going on in the world, somewhere nature is doing its thing and in the process creating something beautifully inspiring. I want to share with you one of my all time favorite California wildflowers. This is Phacelia campanularia commonly called the California Desert Bluebell. When I first came across this wildflower it was love at first sight! Check out that amazing blue color! There's almost nothing like it. Then you've got those purple and white stamens not to mention the white spots on the petals. Put all those colors together and you've got the palette of, say, a beautiful villa overlooking a tropical azure sea. I want to go there now!
Phacelia campanularia is a super easy to grow heat-loving annual. If you want your own crop, plant seeds in fall or early spring. It grows into 6 to 18 inch mounds, likes full sun, little to regular water, and well-draining soil. These plants produce cool looking scalloped-edged foliage, usually outlined or blushed in red. Stems have a reddish tone as well and are covered with tiny fuzzy hairs, but beware, these hairs can cause dermatitis so handle carefully. Come spring, purplish buds burst open revealing some of the most beautiful blue bell-shaped flowers you'll ever see! Phacelia campanularia is not only a great plant for color, but it also attracts many beneficial insects too. Beneficial insects are awesome. They keep the bad bugs in check and pollinate flowers that will go on to produce fruits and seed. Bees are addicted to the flowers.
I can't recommend growing Phacelia campanularia enough. I grew some for the first time this year. I bought some seeds and threw them around the base of some trees I had planted and they exploded to life. The images posted are from what I planted. Couldn't have been easier to grow! You can get seeds from Theodore Payne Foundation or starts from Annies Annuals. Plant some and you too will fall for the blazing beguile of the desert bluebell.