Tuesday, December 22, 2009

California Bluebell

Botanical name: Phacelia campanularia (Hydrophyllaceae)
Other name: Desert Blue Bells, Desert Bell, Wild Canterbury Bell

A hardy annual native to the western United Satates and adapted to very arid environments. The stunning deep blue, bell-shaped flowers are highlighted by long golden stamens. Leaves are heart-shaped, covered with soft white hairs closely resembling an African Violet. Prefers full sun in very sandy or well-drained soils. Sow in early spring, seedlings are not winter hardy. One of Mother Natures most extravagant shades of blue. The plant does well in poor sandy soil and makes a splendid pot plant.

How to grow
Likes full sun, and is accustom to hot days and cool nights. Prefers sandy or gravelly areas. Very Drought tolerant after seedlings are established in well drained areas. However, if kept watered during the blooming period, these little flowers will maintain a longer flowering cycle. Most striking when sown in mass. The eye-catching flowers last 3 to 4 weeks.

Origin: Sandy or gravelly areas of Southern California
Height: 8-24 inches
Germination: 15-30 days
Optimum soil temperature for germination: 60-70F
Soil Preferences: Like all desert species, prefers gritty, fast-draining conditions.
Sowing depth: 1/16"
Blooming period: February-June
USDA Hardiness Zones 3-10

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