Phacelia tanacetifolia is a much prized plant for those who like to encourage beneficial insects to the garden or food crop. It is important in the control of white butterfly and aphid pests.

Common names for this plant include lacy phacelia, blue tansy or purple tansy.[1] It is an annual herb.

It is a native to the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico.[1]

Description[edit | edit source]

Phacelia tanacetifolia grows to a height of around 45cm or 18 inches.

The foliage is delicate. It has fluffy flowerheads of a purple to blue colour. The plant flowers for an extensive period.

Uses of the plant[edit | edit source]

The plant attracts the hoverfly. The female hoverfly eats the pollen to help her eggs mature. She also needs access to aphid colonies to feed the larvae once hatched.

The plant also attracts lacewings and ladybirds (ladybugs), making it an ideal plant for the gardener or farmer inclined to use beneficial insects as a form of pest control.

It attracts bees as well.[1]

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