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Wildflower Watch: Herb native to California has more than 200 species

Phacelia is an herb native to California and is confined to the western part of the U.S. It is a genus that has more than 200 species in the order Boraginales. Clusters of phacelia flowers range in lovely colors from pinkish blue to various shades of lavender and purple. Most are annuals. In Marin, the most common and widespread is P. californica, found on gravelly slopes, rocky outcrops of ocean bluffs and sides of steep canyons. Watch for them in Tiburon, on Angel Island, on Mount Tamalpais at Rock Springs, at Big Rock Ridge, at Alpine Dam and in the San Rafael hills. (Joan Linn Bekins / For The Ark)

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