Phacelia tanacetifolia

While checking the progress of the bee orchids this morning I noticed that the re-seeded area where building work has been happening has a thriving population of what looks like young Phacelia tanacetifolia. While this might be an exciting new record for campus Phacelia can be a problem weed if it gets established.  I’m curious to know why it was included in the seed mixture.

About Alastair Culham

A professional botanist and biologist with an interest in promoting biological knowledge and awareness to all.
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3 Responses to Phacelia tanacetifolia

  1. I’ve now revisited this site and the plants are definitely Phacelia tanacetifolia – now in early bud stage.

  2. Could you perhaps add a photo? On a flora survey walk today, in an otherwise rather boring field margin in Warwickshire, we came across some young plants that nobody could identify – someone suggested maybe they were a previous crop remnant, or planted for bird seed (though no others were noticed). I had a vague idea they might be Phacelia, and googled for more information. Phacelia tanacetifolia seems quite likely (the leaves being rather tansy-like), but I haven’t found many photos of young plants. They weren’t in flower yet, but the furled buds look likely for Phacelia.

    I was also interested that you say they can be problem weeds, as another link to Sarah Raven was extolling the wonders of Phacelia for bees.

    Interesting to see what’s happening in Reading – did my botany degree there, in the early 80s. 🙂

    • I didn’t take a photo but will try to add one this week – the plants are much bigger now. P. tanacetifolia is widely sold as seeds to grow green manure however it is already a problem invasive in other parts of Europe and I would be reluctant to plant it myself. There are plenty of other plants that are native and good for bees.

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