We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Phacelia tanacetifolia - Benth.

Common Name Fiddleneck, Lacy phacelia
Family Hydrophyllaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open flats and slopes below 1200 metres[71].
Range South-western N. America in California. Often naturalized in Europe[50].
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Full sun
Phacelia tanacetifolia Fiddleneck, Lacy phacelia

Phacelia tanacetifolia Fiddleneck, Lacy phacelia


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Phacelia tanacetifolia is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf from May to September, in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Green manure

Used as a green manure crop, but has not as yet (1980) been properly tested in Britain[87]. It is not very deep rooted.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Prefers a moist soil[108]. The flowers are a rich source of nectar and is occasionally grown commercially as a crop for bees[46, 50, 61].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - sow in situ in late spring or late summer. The plant often self-sows.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

NORTHERN AMERICA: United States (Arizona, California, Nevada (south)), Mexico (Baja California (Norte) (north))

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Phacelia ramosissimaBranching PhaceliaPerennial0.0 -  LMHSNM11 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

m a rategan   Mon Nov 3 01:59:35 2003

Bill Mollison, in PcII, p 25, says to plant Phacelia in orchards as it is insectary for predators of Prospatella pest.

Philip McCabe   Mon Jun 26 2006

Hi, I'm a beekeeper in ireland and have recently been informed that Phacelia tanacetifolia is an excellent crop for honeybees I have been infomred that its possible to get 1 tonne of honey from 50 acres of this crop. Can anyone tell me how much seed I would need for 9 acres of ground.

   Wed Jul 5 2006

I have worked it out to around 109 kilos. Not being very mathematical, I am probably wrong, but at 4047 square metres to an acre - 9 acres - that's 36432 square metres - and a sowing rate of 3g to every square metre....that would bee (;-) ) 109kg?

Mike   Thu Mar 29 2007

Reply to Philip McCabe. I have grown this regularly as a green cover in S.E. Scotland. It does very well indeed and is extremely attractive to bees. However, the resulting honey is like water, only suitable for blending. The idea mixer is oil seed rape honey which otherwise tends to be like concrete. The recommended seed rate for Phacelia is 10kg per hectare. In practice, 5 kg per hectare is more than sufficient.

K King   Tue Aug 21 2007

Is the sap of this plant toxic to humans please?

don   Sun Oct 25 2009

what does it look like?

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Phacelia tanacetifolia  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.