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CLARKIA concinna

Image of Clarkia concinna

Eric in SF, Wikimedia Commons Contributor

Family

Onagraceae

Botanical Name

CLARKIA concinna

Plant Common Name

Red Ribbons

General Description

An otherwise wispy plant, red ribbons grabs your attention from mid-spring to midsummer with its delicate but colorful violet-pink, cross-shaped flowers. This drought tolerant annual wildflower is native to the dry woodlands in the foothills of northern California's Coastal Ranges. It's a worthwhile, dainty plant for dry, porous soils that are in partial shade.

The leaves are small, oval and light gray-green. Showy flowers arise in loose clusters on stem tips and side branch shoots in the warmth of spring. Each blossom comprises four three-lobed petals, making it look like a stylized Byzantine cross. Petal color is usually rosy violet. After insect pollination, seed capsules form and shed seeds to the ground. These germinate either in fall or spring to renew the life cycle.

Grow red ribbons in partial sun to bright dappled shade in nutrient poor, well-drained soil. A sand to sandy loam is ideal. Sow seeds where they are to grow as this annual doesn't transplant well. Also allow seedlings to remain crowded, as it tends to increase flowering. Infertile soils ensure foliage is not overproduced at the expense of flowers. Use red ribbons as a wildflower in meadows or rock gardens. Or, scatter seeds in the woodland garden to bring color to the areas at the base of rhododendrons and dryland ferns. The cultivar 'Pink Ribbons' is exceptionally showy having violet-rose flowers, orange-red sepals and red stems.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    10"-15" / 25.4cm - 38.1cm

  • Width

    10"-20" / 25.4cm - 50.8cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    United States, California

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Fuchsia, Rose, Lavender

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes