Phacelia fimbriata M.

                 Author: Shawn Kuriger
                                             Undergraduate Ecol 3500
                                             University of Georgia
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Table of Contents:

~ Common Names
~ Higher Taxa
~ Identification
~ Geography
~ Natural History
~ How to Encounter 
~ References

Common Names:

    The Phacelia fimbriata is also known as the Fringed Phacelia or the Fringed Scorpion-Weed.

Phacelia fimbriata, Fringed Scorpion-Weed
Phacelia fimbriata, Fringed Scorpion-Weed

Photograph by John Pickering


Higher Taxa:

embryo with two or more opposite cotyledons

The Family Hydrophyllaceae contains about 18 genera and at least species of plants.  It consists of herbs and small shrubs.

Authority:  Michaux

    The following are defining characteristics of the P. fimbriata:

Phacelia fimbriata (M.)

North America:
Continental United States; Canada
YES (Small 1933)
Eastern North America:
United States east of Mississippi;
Ontario and easter Canada
YES (Small 1933)
Southeastern United States:
Yes (Small 1933)
Southern Appalachian States:
Yes (Radford, Ahles, 

and Bell, 1964)

Coastal Plain No (Small 1933)
Blue Ridge Mountains Yes (Small 1933)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Yes  (Campbell, Hutson
and Sharp, 1970)
Ridge and Valley Yes (Small 1933)
Cumberland Plateau No (Small 1933)
Georgia No UGA Herbarium
Clarke County,Georgia NO UGA Herbarium

Natural History:

                Phacelia, a native to North America and Andean South America, is the largest genus of the Hydrophyllaceae family.  Genus Phacelia comes from the Greek phakelos "a fascicle" which refers to the clustered flowers it produces.  There are about 200 species within the Phacelia genus.  This species was cultivated as garden plants. Unlike the other species of Phacelia, the P. fimbriata does not have an English name.  Scorpion-weed refers to the odor which smells like the the inflorescence of the scorpion.  This annual species has nectar-rich flowers which attract bees and other other insects.

How to Encounter:

       The Fringed Scorpion-weed grows in large beds within rich woods and near streams in the mountains.  The optimal time for viewing the flower is between May and June.  One location for viewing this spring wildflower is the entrance to Chimney's Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains. Another prime place to spot the P. fimbriata is on the banks of the Watauga River.
Grandfather Mountain - Linville, NC - Fringed Phacelia


Campbell, Carlos C., William F. Hutson, Aaron J. Sharp.  1970. Great Smoky Mountains Wild Flowers.  3rd ED.  The University of Tennesse Press.  page 42.

Duncan, Wilbur H. and John T. Kartesz.  1981.  Vascular Flora of Georgia.  The Universtiy of Georgia Press. Athens, GA.  page 109.

Gray, Asa M.D.  1848.  The Botany of the Northern United States.  James Munroe & Co.  London.  page340.
Grimm, William Carey.  1993.  Wildflowers and Shrubs.  Stackpole Books.  pages 224-227.

Knopf, Alfred A.  1979. The Audubon Society Field to North American Flowers. William A. Niering & Nacy C. Olmstead. page 643.

Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles & C. R. Bell. 1968.  Manual of the Vascular Floraof the Carolinas.  University of North Carolina Press.  Chapel Hill, NC.  pages 876-878.

Small, John Kunkel. 1933. Manual of the Southeastern Flora.  John Kunkel Small. page 1098.

Steeve, Ed William, and Harol William Ricket.  Wild Flowers of the United States vol 2.  McGraw-Hill Book Co.  New York.  pages 416-417.