Abstract Desert glandular phacelia (Phacelia glandulosavar. deserta) was first described as a distinct species by Aven Nelson in 1898, but was subsequently synonymized under its more widespread relative, P. glandulosa. The two taxa differ primarily in their relative proportions of long, non-glandular to short, gland-tipped hairs on the stems. All known occurrences of var. deserta are restricted to the Green River and Washakie basins and foothills of the Overthrust Belt in southwestern Wyoming. Eight populations of var. deserta are currently recognized, although several of these may actually represent populationsof var. glandulosa, or a mixture of both taxa. Surveys in 1997-98 documented 6900-9500 individuals, mostly in the Green River/Rock Springs area, Opal, Ross Butte, and one site in the Washakie Basin. Var. desertais found primarily in cushion plant/bunchgrass communities on sparsely vegetated slopes of whitish clay covered by bleached fragments of limey-slate of the Green River Formation or conglomerate derived from the Bridger Formation. Individual colonies are often small and consist of clumped or widely scattered plants. All known occurrences are on public lands managed for multiple use by the BLM or Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Populations are potentially threatened by compaction and soil loss from high off-road vehicleuse and surface disturbances associated with mineral development. Implementation of management strategies for this plant should be contingent on biosystematic studies that confirm orreject the validity of “var. deserta” as a distinct taxon.