Large genus of flowering plants native mostly to western U.S. and Mexico. One of the species listed here is native to the Texas prairie; the other is a wildflower from shady, moist areas of the Southeast.
P. bipinnatifida. SCORPION WEED, FERNLEAF PHACELIA. Biennial. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native from West Virginia and Illinois to Arkansas and Georgia. Deeply divided, dark green leaves to 4 in. long and wide. Overwinters as an attractive low foliage mound to 1 ft. wide; in late spring, flower stalks to 2 ft. tall bear sprays of white-eyed lavender-blue blossoms. Showy as a mass planting. Dies after flowering; self-sows reliably. Grow in partial or full shade, in soil with lots of organic matter.
P. congesta. BLUE CURLS. Annual or biennial. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. Native to Texas and New Mexico. Grows 3 ft. tall, 1 ft. wide. Deeply cut, bright green, soft leaves to 4 in. long, 1 in. wide. Blooms throughout spring; buds form on a curled spike, which uncoils as the buds open into blue-purple flowers. Easy to grow from seed. For a long bloom period, be sure to water during dry spells. Full sun.