Purple Scorpionweed

On our Mayday hike, Keith and I found a swathe of Purple Scorpionweed (Phacelia purshii), also called Miami Mist, growing on a grassy hillside that swoops down toward the creek at the Perry Farm. It is a delicate, five-petaled flower, about ½ inch wide, with a white center and pale purple, fringed edges.

The flowers unfurl as they bloom. Curled up, they resemble a scorpion’s tail. And thus the name, Purple Scorpionweed.

The flowers are beloved by pollinators: While we stood on the hillside, honeybees, bumblebees, a Red Admiral, and an Eastern Black Swallowtail visited the Purple Scorpionweed, too. What a wonderful May Day discovery for us all!

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