Phacelia (Miami Mist)
An annual, delicate, spring-blooming wildflower, much branched with slender stems, spreading. Flowers in loose, somewhat coiled cymes, 5-lobed, the lobes minutely fringed, light blue-violet or white; a large white “eye” with tiny dots (the 5 anthers, plus the small base of the pistil) in the center. Blooms April–June. Leaves to 3 inches long, deeply pinnately lobed, the lobes opposite; lower leaves petioled (with stems), upper leaves sessile. Leaf stems and stems in general with soft hairs.
Similar species: There are 7 species of Phacelia recorded for Missouri. Small-flowered phacelia (P. gilioides) is similar to and more common than Miami mist, but its flowers are toothed, not fringed. Hairy phacelia (P. hirsuta) is similar to small-flowered phacelia but is a stouter and larger plant with hairier stems and leaves; the petal lobes lack fringes or teeth.