Variable-Leaf Scorpion Weed
Phacelia heterophylla Pursh
The variable-leaf scorpion weed is a biennial or short-lived
perennial plant with a slender taproot and a single erect, stout stem surrounded
at the base by several lesser stems. The plant is usually about ten inches tall but can be eighteen inches.The
leaves are prominently-veined with long petioles on the lower leaves and the
stem leaves with shorter stems. One or two pairs of leaflets or lobes may be
found at the base of each leaf although a few leaves may be entire margined.
These leaflets are always smaller than the elliptical leaf blade. Flowers are lovely light purple with protruding stamens tipped in gold
It grows on dry, open, rocky slopes at lower elevations and is common glistening in meadows above tree line and on high mountain passes from mid-June through August. It is found in areas of subalpine, alpine, meadows, and tundra. It ranges from British Columbia to central Californnia and throughout the Rocky Mountain states.