Scorpion weed

Phacelia tanacetifolia

Scorpion weed - Phacelia tanacetifolia

Common Name: Scorpion weed
Genus: Phacelia
Species: tanacetifolia

Category: Annuals & Biennials
Growth Rate: Average
Features: Suitable for ground cover, Has interesting foliage, Has fragrant flowers/foliage, Good for wildlife

Hardiness: HardyHeight: 1.20 m (120 cm)
Sun/Shade: Full sunSpread: 0.45 m (45 cm)

Foliage Type: DeciduousFlower Colour: Blue, Purple
Foliage Colour: GreenFlowering Period: June to September

Soil Type: Normal/Loam
Soil Moisture: Dry, well drained or Moist, but well drained

  • Other features: contact with the foliage may aggravate skin allergies

An upright annual plant which is ideal for a wildlife-friendly planting scheme. The stems are clothed with finely cut leaves which have a fern-like quality and in summer the tips are covered by domed clusters of small lavender-blue or blue bell-shaped flowers with very long stamens. These flowers are very rich in nectar so attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects like a magnet. The fast growing foliage will help suppress weeds and makes an attractive groundcover.

  • Garden care: From early spring sow into small pots filled with good seed compost and initially protect with a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. Pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth and harden off before planting out. Alternatively sow direct in autumn into a sunny, well-prepared seed bed. Easy to grow, if you do not want the plants to set seed remove the spent flowers as they fade.

    Sow: March-May or September-October