Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Small-flowered Phacelia: Phacelia dubia

Weed Description: An annual with attractive blue flowers that occurs most often in woodlands or along the edges of woods, along roadsides, and in abandoned fields.  This plant is more likely to be viewed as an attractive wildflower than a common 'weed'.

Leaves:   Basal and stem leaves are divided into leaflets, the lateral segments being elliptic to oval-shaped in outline.  All leaves contain sharp, stiff hairs.   Basal leaves occur on petioles while stem leaves are usually without petioles (sessile).

Stems:  Erect or spreading, reaching 15 inches in height.  The stems contain many stiff hairs.

Flowers:  Occur in clusters at the ends of stems.   Individual flowers occur on flower stalks (pedicels) that may reach 26 mm in length.  Flowers are blue to white in color.

Fruit:  A capsule.

Identifying Characteristics:  The leaves of small-flowered phacelia are similar in appearance to some buttercups, such as Bulbous Buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosa).  However, the buttercups do not have sharp, stiff hairs on the leaves, petioles, and stems to the extent that small-flowered phacelia does.  Additionally, these plants generally grow in different habitats and have yellow flowers unlike small-flowered phacelia.