Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Joel Tuhy
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Clay phacelia, Phacelia argillacea, is a Federally listed endangered plant that is a narrow endemic to (it occurs only in) Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah County, Utah. A member of the waterleaf family, this species is a winter annual with abundantly hairy, simple to branching stems that are 10 to 36 cm tall. It has a scorpion tale-like inflorescence that continues, as it unrolls, to produce blue to violet flowers from June to August. Clay phacelia is found in fine textured soil and fragmented shale derived from the Green River Formation. It grows on barren, precipitous hillsides in sparse pinyon-juniper and mountain brush communities, at elevations ranging from 1840 to 1881 meters. Construction activities have modified some of this plant's habitat, and grazing by native ungulates and the presence of exotic plant species in its habitat are both potential threats.


  • Callister, D.C. and N. Van Pelt. 1992. Element Stewardship Abstract for Phacelia argillacea (clay phacelia). Prepared for The Nature Conservancy, Utah Field Office, Salt Lake City. 21 pp.

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich and L.C. Higgins [eds.]. 1993. A Utah flora (2nd ed., revised). Provo, UT: Brigham Young Univ. 986 pp.