Plant name: Desert bluebells
Botanical name: Phacelia campanularia
Virtues: This desert native annual does fine in dry conditions. Will grow in tight spaces such as between pavers and in front of flowerbeds. Covers itself with cheerful bright blue flowers for about a month.
Flowers: Tubular flowers have five petals. Bright inky blue with yellow stamens.
Foliage: Medium green.
Habit: A 4- to 14-inch-tall clump.
Season: Spring. Staggered seed sowing will result in longer bloom season as later-sown seedlings come into flower while earlier plants finish. Each plant blooms for a month.
Origin: Southwestern United States
Cultivation: Prefers gritty, fast-draining soil and full sun. Adaptable and easy. It’s an annual that dies with the first frost, but may reappear from dropped seeds the next year.