As spring glides into summer, the last of the showy bloomers are showing up, and one of the showiest of them all is farewell-to-spring (Clarkia amoena). I bought the seeds on a whim maybe 7 years ago, not expecting much because California native annuals have a hard time with my clay and low water regiment. But to my surprise, I found an abundant field of flowers in shades of white to purple in late May, blooming well into June. This year it's been dry, so not as many plants have come back from seed, but they're still a joy to behold.
But that's not all there is when it comes to California native Clarkias. In my garden, I've also sown Clarkia unguiculata (elegant Clarkia), which starts blooming a little earlier and reseeds a little wider. It's been fun to discover them near the DG plaza.
And even in a pot with native ginger and Heuchera in part shade.
Speaking of shade, the most fun Clarkia I have is Clarkia cocinna 'Pink Ribbons', which grows with only a few hours of morning sun under the redwoods in some pots. I've not been diligent enough to collect the seeds, so I just get 3 plants from Annie's Annuals every year and enjoy weeks of bright color in the shade.
Here's a close-up - I have to remind myself that roses also come in many forms, so why not Clarkias with many different petals?
Ms. Country Mouse had the even greater pleasure of Clarkia growing on her property, and they look like this:
You can read about here adventure keying this plant in this post. And finally, just for fun, a winecup Clarkia from our outing to Pinnacles. "Ah, a farewell-to-spring," we said at the time. And indeed, it's been a long, glorious farewell.