Category: 

What is Clarkia?

Article Details
  • Written By: Deborah Walker
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
President Richard Nixon had an entire speech prepared in case the Apollo 11 astronauts became stranded on the Moon.  more...

December 8 ,  1965 :  Pope Paul VI promulgated Vatican II into ecumenical law.  more...

Clarkia, also known as pink ribbons, garland flower, or mountain garland, is a genus of medium-sized, annual wildflowers native to the coniferous forests of the western United States and western Canada; one species of this plant is native to South America. It is a member of the willowherb or evening primrose family. During early-to-mid summer, it repeatedly bears single or double blossoms that have a rippling, satin-like texture. It makes a lovely summertime cut flower, and is often used to add a pop of color to shade gardens.

All but one species of Clarkia is native to the western United States and Canada. Clarkia tenella, or sangre de toro, as it is known in its homeland, is native to Chile. The remaining species live in the forests stretching from California to British Columbia.

Seed should be planted in the autumn or early in the rainy season. These plants do not transplant well, so seeds should be sewn where the plants are going to be grown. Clarkia usually grows to be about 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) tall. It has a spread of about 9 inches (22.86 cm) wide.

During June, July, and August, or about 90 days after planting, Clarkia plants produce flowers in pink, rose, red-purple, or violet. The cup-shaped, four-petaled flowers are 2 to 4 inches (5.08 to 10.16 cm) wide. Double-petaled flowers resemble small carnations and are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide.

Ad

Clarkia thrives in the cool climates of the Pacific northwest, but does not do well in hot or humid areas. It prefers well-drained, sandy soil that has a neutral or alkaline pH level; heavier soils are tolerated. This wildflower has average watering needs, but should not be overwatered. In order to thrive it requires full sun or partial shade in the afternoon.

A quick-growing, easy-maintenance annual wildflower, Clarkia is not susceptible to common diseases or pests. Its tall, sturdy stems make it a good choice for a garden of flowers intended to be used as cut flowers. In addition to being grown in flower beds, it is often used by gardeners in rock gardens, or as the back border in beds with other lower-growing plants. Clarkia is sometimes planted among ferns and other shade plants to infuse a bit of color into the landscape.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email