mystery plant

Can anyone out there tell me what this flower/plant might be?


a closer look…


The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
― John Muir


17 thoughts on “mystery plant

  1. I think Sally’s right – it’s a Phacelia – but there are a lot of them, It could be Bolander’s – Phacelia bolanderi. Range: coastal N. Cali and Oregon. Stems “sprawling to erect” – yours look like they sprawl. Pale blue flowers, The leaves look right too. And they grow on “open slopes” – that sounds right (you said on the hillside).
    A few nurseries sell it – maybe you can have a whole colony of them! It’s very pretty.
    The Phacelias’ flowers grow on coiled stems, usually. Apparently a lot of them have hairs that cause skin irritation so be cautious.
    Steve really knows his plants, but he’s in TX so maybe not this one.


    • I did a search for Phacelias, but wasn’t quite sure about the coiled stems, but they definitely sprawl. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that phenomenon. We’re trying to stick to native plants and luckily the one pictured here seems to be one of them. It’s quite pretty and appears to be settled in already. It seems quite happy and may spread while Eric wages war on the invasive Himalaya Blackberries…. we are planning to tame some for the pies though.

      I did get a response from Steve, but you guessed right. He wasn’t familiar with this lovely since it’s out of his territory. BTW which site(s) do you use for plant ID. Steve suggested one for Oregon, but I had a hard time navigating it.


      • Searched images of Phacelia bolanderi and I believe you nailed it! Thanks! I’m thinking I may get more of them as E clears the tangles of blackberry vines that were taking over the hillside. That’s where the Bolander popped up this summer. They are pretty, but I’ll watch out for the skin irritation.


        • Sorry I’m so late replying. I have 60 or 70 sites saved in the “Botanizing” folder and don’t remember which I used – but probably it was the first two here:

          Books can be frustrating too. I use the Peterson Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers and Pojar & Mackinnon’s Plants of Coastal British Columbia (includes WA & OR). The Pojar is excellent because of its breadth and detail, and the inclusion of notes on indigenous uses, but it can be hard to use. Peterson’s are always easy to use but nothing’s perfect. Also I use a Lone Pine Wildflowers of Washington guide that is smaller and can be leafed through first.

          We just got back from an incredible two day trip over the mountains. We stopped in two very different places and saw “zillions” of wildflowers, many new to me. The first place was in the Cascades near a pass, a mixed ponderosa pine forest. So much up there, including Tweedy’s lewisia! The second place was arid steppe. It’s open with a few ponderosa pines but more fields. Again, truly abundant wildflowers. I was in heaven! But I find each guidebook misses certain plants and I need to use at least two books to ID them. There are still some I can’t figure!


  2. I wonder if it’s one of the phacelias? The leaves have sort of that look to them .. can’t really tell from the flowers. Then again I could be way off base. πŸ™‚ Even if we can’t ID flowers or bugs or beetles they still delight. Thanks for sharing the pics.


  3. Someone like Steve Schwartzman (and it took me a few minutes of googling to jog my memory on his surname), at the wordpress site ‘Portraits of Wildflowers’ might. You might be able to quickly pick up a wildflower photographer in your state with the right query and skim through their website. Some bloggers like Pete Hillman in the U.K. have extraordinary archives full of flora (and fauna).

    The flower looks familiar, even to me in Australia, but my memory is like a sieve, especially as I rarely photograph flowers now – wild or cultivated – and have forgotten many names now.

    Liked by 1 person

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