About Western Wallflower: Western Wallflower is the most common of the native wallflowers, and can be found in conditions ranging from the desert to the mountain meadow. Though this American species does not generally live up to its name, its European relatives acquired the common name of wallflower because of their affinity for growing in the cracks of walls or cliffs. Western Wallflower was first discovered near the Columbia River around 1829 by English botanist David Douglas, who made several trips of exploration to the United States. Douglas also introduced such species as the Ponderosa Pine, Sitka Spruce, and Noble Fir; the common name of Douglas Fir honors his legacy.
Western Wallflower Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting just below the surface and compressing the soil slightly. For spring planting, direct sow and keep the soil consistently moist until germination, which should take place within 2-3 weeks. This plant adapts well to shallow, rocky soil.
Growing Western Wallflower Seeds: Water seedlings until they become established. Mature plants prefer dry conditions and tolerate drought well, though they adapt to moisture in well-drained soil. When grown from seed, this plant usually produces flowers in its first year; deadheading will produce the greatest number of blossoms. Though a biennial, this plant will self-seed and come back as a perennial. A layer of mulch will give protection from the cold over winter. This plant makes an excellent choice for rock gardens, and attracts butterflies.
Harvesting Western Wallflower: Wallflower makes an excellent cut flower, and has a pleasant fragrance. Cut long stems of flowers that have just opened, and remove leaves that will fall below the water level; place in water immediately.
Saving Western Wallflower Seeds: This plant will develop thin, 4" vertical seed pods that turn from green to yellow to brown; mature seed will be a dark orange or rust color. Since the pods will split and release their seed when fully ripe, they must be harvested promptly to avoid loss. Remove the pods individually as they ripen to a light brown, and spread them out to dry. Alternatively, the entire plant can be pulled when most of the pods are ripe and hung upside down to dry. Separate the seed from the pods. Store the seed in a cool, dry place; for best germination rates, plant it within a year.
Detailed Western Wallflower Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Coastal Wallflower, Douglas’ Wallflower, Sanddune Wallflower, Prairie Rocket Duration: Biennial/Perennial Bloom Time: Spring-Early Summer Height: 12-24 inches Spacing: 8-10 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 3a-7b Seeds Per Oz: 54,000 Produces an upright stem with narrow 3” leaves and a round cluster of ¾” orange flowers with four petals.