Desert Wildflowers: Wild Canterbury Bells

Wild Canterbury Bells, also known as Whitlavia

Phacelia minor

Family: Boraginaceae, one of the larger plant families in the US, with 60 genera and around 650 species, some major families are cryptantha, hackelia, mertensia, oreocarya, phacelia, and plagiobothrys.

Fun Facts

Phacelia minor is known to be highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Its bell-shaped flowers and sweet fragrance make it a valuable plant for supporting pollinators in the wild or in gardens.

Wild Canterbury Bells are similar to the Desert Bluebells, however I have not observed them in the same location. I have seen Wild Canterbury Bells mostly on or near hillsides.


Phacelia minor is native to Southern California and Baja California, where it grows in the Colorado Desert and the coastal and inland mountains of the Transverse-Peninsular Ranges, often in chaparral and areas recently burned.

Bloom Season


I have observed this wildflower in 2023 in the following Southern California desert areas:

Whitewater Preserve (March 2023)
Mission Creek Preserve (March 2023)


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