Phacelia formosula

North Park Phacelia

FWS Focus


North park phacelia is a non-woody (herbaceous) plant species in the borage family. It grows on average 6 to 12 inches tall and its bright purple flowers are arranged in coils at the ends of stems. Leaves are dark green, deeply lobed, and covered with short, coarse stiff hairs. You can find North Park phacelia blooming in July and August. However, the species is a biennial surviving for one year as a rosette of leaves before flowering and dying the following year. North Park phacelia was first collected in 1918 by George Osterhout, a famed botanist from Colorado. North park phacelia is found only in North Park of northern Colorado’s Jackson County. The species is limited to eroded soil outcrops composed of barren exposures of the Coalmont Formation, a coal-bearing substrate. The species is found at about 8,000 to 8,300 feet in elevation. Roughly 16,000 individuals are known from six separate populations and the entire species is known only to an area measuring roughly 10 miles in either direction (north to south, east to west). The primary threats to North Park phacelia are concentrated livestock use (trampling), off-highway vehicle recreation, land use changes including energy development, commercial and residential development, and range improvements. Because of its extremely limited distribution, the species is vulnerable to habitat modification and changes in the environment. North Park phacelia also relies on insect pollinators to maintain genetic diversity. The loss of pollinators and pollinator habitat is considered a threat to the species.

Scientific Name

Phacelia formosula
Common Name
North Park phacelia
FWS Category
Flowering Plants

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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