Lacy Phacelia Seeds (Phacelia tanacetifolia)
A fantastic garden cover crop and magnet for bees and syrphid flies.
Lacy phacelia is largely a California species, but wild populations do occasionally show up in Oregon. Even outside of its true native range, this is a spectacular annual species for use as a garden cover crop, backyard bee pasture, or an insectary plant to attract beneficial insects for natural pest control. It grows wonderfully in garden settings across the Northwest, and even germinates excellently in cool autumn weather.
We’ve used lacy phacelia for years as a winter cover crop with several key advantages: 1) it can be terminated easily by just mowing it, 2) it grows rapidly and produces enough canopy to shade out most weeds, 3) it does not add extra nitrogen to the soil which tends to encourage weedy grasses later in the year, and 4) it does not persist well on its own in the Northwest so we never worry about it escaping and becoming a weed.
We know of many folks who add this annual species to their native pollinator seed mixes, just to have a reliable source of flowers early in the life of their meadow. It quickly disappears however as other species such as lupines mature and remain more competitive.
Lacy phacelia is world famous for its attractiveness to honey bees, bumble bees, and beneficial syrphid flies. It’s a popular bee plant in Europe, known in Germany as Bienen-freund (“bee’s friend”).
Approximately 50,000 Seeds (3.0 ounces) – enough for around 500 -800 square feet of large garden or bee pasture.