Phacelia argillacea

Common Names:
Clay phacelia
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Sylvia Torti
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Red Butte Garden and Arboretum

The conservation of Phacelia argillacea is fully sponsored.
Sylvia Torti contributed to this Plant Profile.


Clay phacelia is a Federally listed endangered plant. It is found in only one location in the world--Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah. In 1977, only nine plants were known to exist. The main cause attributed to this decline was the construction of a railroad directly through the known population, and the plant was listed due to concerns that an access road to the railroad would eliminate the few remaining plants. (USFWS 1978) By 1980, the size of the remaining population had declined even further, to only four individual plants, due to trampling by sheep. (USFWS 1980) At this point in the continuing saga of this plant, the tiny population was fenced, and by 1982 the plants had recovered to some extent, with about 200 plants known. (USFWS 1982a, 1982b) In 1990, fenced population was further protected when The Nature Conservancy purchased the land it was on. (Biodiversity Network News 1990) Today, the species is in a stable but precarious position, protected from extinction by not much more than a fence and the will of dedicated individuals.

This species is a member of the waterleaf family that grows on steep talus slopes in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah. It is a winter annual, germinating in the fall and producing violet to pink flowers in the summer.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research