Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
Elegant Clarkia, Mountain Garland, Woodland Clarkia
Upright reddish stems lined with rosy papery flowers are highlights of the elegant clarkia. This tall wildflower is endemic (native only) to California, existing in chaparral, grasslands and forest clearings. It is a fast-growing annual that naturally blooms from mid-spring to early summer when conditions are mild and cool. Garden grown specimens can be sown year-round as long as temperatures and mild and humidity low.
Elegant clarkia grows upright with reddish stems and sparse green to gray-green leaves. Each leaf blade is a linear and lance-shaped, often with small teeth along the edges. Plant often branch, but still look rather wispy. Flower buds arise from the base of the leaves. The flowers have four club-shaped petals of rose-pink to deep violet. White flowers are a rarity. After pollination by insects or the occasional hummingbird elongated seed capsules full of small seeds are produced. Scattered seeds germinate in the fall or spring.
Grow elegant clarkia in full to dappled sun in moderately fertile to poor sandy loam soil with good drainage. Do not fertilize, as rich soils diminishes flowering. Sow seeds directly on the ground where you wish them to grow intermixed with other naturalistic spring ornamentals. There are many wonderful varieties including double-flowered forms that look like double hollyhock blossoms. The Royal Bouquet Series is once such collection.
In subtropical regions, sow seeds in fall for flowering during the drier, cooler winter months. Hot, very humid and rainy weather causes elegant clarkia to perform poorly. The blooms make exceptional cut flowers.
9 - 1
A2, 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
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m
8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm
Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
White, Pink, Lavender, Violet
Green, Gray Green
Bedding Plant, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower
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