Desert Wildflowers: Desert Bluebells

Desert Bluebells, also known as Desert Bells and California Bluebells

Phacelia campanularia

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

The flowers of Phacelia campanularia are a vibrant shade of blue, and they have a bell-like shape with five petals. In rare cases a mutation can occur and the flower can be white. Desert Bluebells are a favorite among pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, due to their abundant nectar and attractive flowers. It is considered an important plant for supporting pollinator populations, which in turn contributes to ecosystem health and biodiversity.

Desert Bluebells are very similar to Wild Canterbury Bells, however, I have not observed them in the same location.


Desert Bluebells are native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, and it is commonly cultivated as an ornamental. The plant can be found in sandy flats, exposed areas, and on roadsides.

Bloom Season


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

Joshua Tree National Park, Cottonwood area (March 2023)


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