Sunday, February 24, 2008

First Wildflowers



The first wildflowers to bloom in my garden in late winter are Desert Bluebells (Phacelia campanularia). They are one of the few brilliant blue flowers that perform well here. Too well, in fact. I have tens of thousands of tiny seedlings coming up, along with the more mature plants. Each time we get just a sprinkle of rain, another round comes up. All are self-seeded, and each year the number seems to triple. I should thin them out, but I’m too busy picking weeds to worry about the wildflower thinning right now!
Desert Bluebells attract butterflies and bees, which will arrive as more flowers arrive. When the plant is young, the heart-shaped leaves have a maroon hue, and as the get older, the leaves turn green and they are edged in red. This Southern California annual has very shallow roots, and it is easy to dispose of when the flowers are spent and the leaves begin to dry. The only problem is the plant is somewhat hairy and can be quite irritating to touch. I always wear gloves when dealing with Desert Bluebells, not only because of the “hairiness, but the stems and leaves easily stain hands and clothes.

22 comments:

Anna-Flowergardengirl said...

It's a pretty blue. Blue is hard to find and you got lots of it too. Lucky you!! I see you got to wear gloves to handle it. I'm that way with Lantana--it's in the Poison Oak family. It makes me itch to pieces and so do the scented geraniums. We are just tender and delicate aren't we? I love the new gloves out now though. I need to get a new pair soon. I go through about 5 pairs a summer with my job.

g_mirage said...

I envy that! Its beginning to get warmer here, I have also seen a few bulbs springing up but now blue colored ones yet...Good day!

winter shower

Catherine Sprueil said...

Aiyana:
The colors are amazing. Here in Massachusetts we have snow on the ground. Nice shot.

Catherine

WiseAcre said...

I'll take that 'weed' anyday. Too bad my growing conditions aren't suitable for Desert Bluebells.

My thoughts this Sunday were also on the 'wild' side.

barbara said...

10s of thousands. You have a yard of blue flowers instead of 20 inches of snow? Hmmm. What's wrong with this picture - I keep asking myself.

Muum said...

wow, it is funny that something so beautiful can be such a pest! It looks like perennial geranium, I wonder if it is related?

sisah said...

What an amazing blue this wildflower has, in Germany " the blue flower" is the symbol of Romanticism.I wonder if this desert bellflower is the one the germans had been looking for...?
I hope you had a romantic weekend !

Curtis said...

I would love to have wildflowers like this in my yard in early spring.

kml said...

That is a vivid blue - just beautiful!

Deb said...

Lucky you!!! I love that color of blue...it's so vibrant :)

Gardenista said...

That's a pretty blue flower! I wonder if it would work without much maintenance in Ajo, Arizona? Some of my family are "snowbirds" down there (from Canada) and we wonder what flowers would work without being there yearround?

Eaglehawk said...

very nice. I love the color.

Ginni Dee said...

What a beautiful blue flower! It's good you enjoy it when it's here. I love wildflowers!

Wurzerl said...

I love the blue color and you have tens of thousends of seedlings! Wow!
Your blue sky is in your garden soil.

Have a good week Wurzerl

Tracy said...

I love blue flowers, there aren't too many of them around. I just read a couple days ago that hoya's come in all colors, except blue. A blue flower is just such a nice sight to see.

Ann M. said...

So beautiful, and what a lovely color :)

Happy GTS!

Tricia said...

As far as I'm concerned there just aren't enough blue flowers period. I love just about any kind of blue flower but it seems that few will dow well in my area either.

Your desert Blue Bells look a little bit like my perennial geraniums. Lovely. Thanks for the information on them.

theysaywordscanbleed said...

these are gorgeous flowers

Vanillalotus said...

What a beautiful plant. I have never heard of desert bluebells. I'll need to check them out and see if I can try some myself.

nikkipolani said...

Wow, that Blue Bell is certainly brilliant! It's nice when an over-zealous plant is easy to remove (albeit with gloves)!

kate said...

These flowers remind me of liverlilies although these are more of a vibrant blue.

Good thing that it is easy to pull out, even if you have to wear gloves.

How are you and your husband doing?

Sarah said...

Your flowers are so pretty and cheerful! I can hardly wait to start planting my own flowers, and see some of my perennials come up.
Happy GTS!
~Sarah