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PlantFiles: Purple Tansy, Fiddleneck
Phacelia tanacetifolia

Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Phacelia (fa-SEE-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: tanacetifolia (tan-uh-kee-tee-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral lenering On Jul 31, 2013, lenering from Omaha, NE wrote:

I planted Phacelia Tanacetifolia by my raised bed. My intention was to attract as much bees as possible. It did not work. The plants are there, beautiful and tall; however, there are not bees, or butterflies. Anybody knows what's going on?

Positive ClimbTheMtns On Feb 27, 2013, ClimbTheMtns from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

This is an Olympian Self-Seeder.

I agree with the other posts about how hover flies, bees, bumble bees LOVE this plant - especially the hover flies and native bees!!
I'm in Zone 9 with Winter frosts and this Phacelia survives just fine. It hardly grows through the Winter, but it doesn't die off with the frost or even a small freeze. Of course, we have been having much milder Winters over the last few years.

Positive lehua_mc On Jul 13, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

The Fernleaf Fiddleneck, as called by Seeds of Change, loves full hot sun and goes completely flat in rain (or overhead watering), be warned. Installing soaker hoses has helped immensely, allowing it to bloom repeatedly and not be overwhelmed by the heat or the mauling affects of water. Once it is flat, it resents man handling, as it seems to be quite brittle and more apt to break than bend. The foliage is worth having, however, especially in a composition with a bolder leaf form. If you want to attract bees, have some of this around, it is busy 24/7. I got a second self seeded batch in late summer, in the direction of where my plants flopped. Also, it is a bit prickly, not something you want to grab. Last update is that the little guys that grew from the late summer seed batch died in the winter, and so far have had very, very few other to come back in Spring. I'm glad I saved seed last year!

Positive matricesp On Mar 20, 2008, matricesp from San Pedro, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

is growing well in pot i bought it in and still blooming

Positive philomel On Feb 1, 2006, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

The flowers are very attractive to hover flies and other beneficial insects, however this plant is also excellent when used as a green manure.. To use in this manner the plants are turned into the soil before they reach the flowering stage, adding goodness and humus.

Positive Evert On Nov 1, 2002, Evert from Helsinki
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Very easy to grow, blooms for a long time and makes lots of seeds... :)

Neutral Terry On Aug 31, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A U.S. native, P. tanacetifolium is grown as an annual in colder climates. Give good drainage and full sun. Self-seeds readily; deadhead to prevent unwanted seedlings.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Seward, Alaska
Phoenix, Arizona
Huntington, Arkansas
Menifee, California
Merced, California
Mountain View, California
San Pedro, California
Walnut Creek, California
Keystone Heights, Florida
Barbourville, Kentucky
Cumberland, Maryland
Pepperell, Massachusetts
Aurora, Missouri
Omaha, Nebraska
Portland, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina
South Boston, Virginia
Grand Mound, Washington
Kalama, Washington

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