Friday Flower: Phacelia purshii

Phacelia purshii (Miami mist) | Sam A. Baker State Park, Wayne Co., Missouri

It’s been rather a long time since I’ve featured a botanical subject here, so it seems a good time to resurrect my “Friday Flower” meme with this delightful little wildflower seen on my birthday field trip a few weeks ago. Phacelia purshii (family Hydrophyllaceae), also known as Miami mist, is one of only four species in this rather large genus (159 species in North America according to the USDA Plants Database) found in Missouri. Though the flowers are small, their deeply fringed petals are quite striking. The late Dan Tenaglia¹ notes at his Missouriplants.com website that the species is limited in Missouri to the extreme eastern portions of the state—the plant shown here was one of several I saw in rich, bottomland forest along Big Creek at Sam A. Baker State Park in Missouri’s southeastern Ozark Highlands.

¹ Dan Tenaglia was not only an expert botanist but a enthusiastic cyclist. He died in February 2007 after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle. Dan’s wife has kept Missouriplants.com up and running since then in honor of his passion for plants. You can help support its maintenance by making a donation to the “Dan Tenaglia Foundation”: 1416 Victoria Avenue, Opelika, Alabama 36801.

This particular woods is one of the richest I’ve seen in the state, and in the past two years I’ve featured a number of interesting plants (Phlox bifida and Tradescantia longipes), invertebrates (Drosphila sp., Magicicada sp.Calosoma scrutator, Pleuroloma flavipes, Graphisurus trianguliferG. fasciatus, Arrhenodes minutus, Neoclytus scutellaris, Corydalus cornutus and Panorpus helena) and even snakes (Crotalus horridus and Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster) from there. This year marks the third consecutive birthday that I’ve visited these woods, and since I’ve found something I’ve never seen before each time (hint: just wait till you see what I still have coming from there!), I have a feeling the trend will continue next year as well.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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2 Responses to Friday Flower: Phacelia purshii

  1. Martha says:

    What a perfect little flower to renew Flower Fridays. I tried to get them to grow here in NE OK to feed pollinators but our weather is maybe too warm. Lovely to see it here.

    • Dan Tenaglia notes for several of the species in this genus that they should get more attention by gardeners. Most of the species in the genus live in the western and southwestern U.S., so there should be some similar species that would grow well for you.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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