About Clarkia: This plant’s genus name, “Clarkia,” was given in recognition of Captain William Clark of the historic Lewis & Clark Expedition. Another old fashioned name for this flower, Godetia, honors a Swiss botanist by the name of Charles H. Godet (1797-1879). In the wild this eye-catching flower occurs only in the state of California, preferring woodland areas.
Clarkia Germination: Direct sow on the surface of the soil in early spring, after the last frost. Keep the soil moist until germination, which should take place within 15-25 days. This plant does not transplant well; seedlings can be thinned, though they tolerate crowding. The plant needs well drained soil and adapts to seaside conditions, sand, and clay. Poor soil is best, since rich soil will produce mostly foliage and few flowers.
Growing Clarkia Seeds: Keep seedlings free of weeds; water regularly until blooming begins. After this point the plants can tolerate drought, though they do not appreciate excess heat and humidity. Pinch off the growing tips to encourage branching and bushy growth. As the plants grow taller, they may need staking or support. Deadheading the spent blossoms will tidy the plant, but probably will not produce new blossoms. This plant may self-seed. Clarkia makes a good addition to flower beds, borders, containers, rock gardens and native wildflower plantings. This plant attracts bees and butterflies and resists deer.
Harvesting Clarkia: For fresh flowers, choose stems with flowers just beginning to open at the base of the stalk. Cut the stems long and place them in water immediately.
Saving Clarkia Seeds: After flowering, this plant will produce long, narrow pods that mature to a dark brown; the ripe seed will be light brown. Collect the ripe pods and spread them out away from direct sunlight to dry completely. Split the pods open to remove the seed. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Clarkia Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Elegant Clarkia, Garland Flower, Mountain Garland, Farewell-to-spring Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer Height: 24-36 inches Spacing: 15-18 inches Light: Full Sun to Part Shade Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-10b Seeds Per Oz: 90,000 Produces a tall-stemmed plant with pointed leaves and clusters of double blossoms in varied shades of pink, fuschia, and salmon.