Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Dazzle of Clarkias

This time of year, the Larner Seeds Demonstration Garden is giddy with 7 different species of clarkias, thriving in numerous situations. COME VISIT!

Clarkias as much as any native California genus lend themselves to horticultural frivolity and play. Sturdy and tough, easy to grow, they are adaptable in containers,or to broadcasting in the ground.

In nature, different species of clarkias thread through golden grasses on dry hills throughout California, their vivid colors intoxicating, and their survival a reminder that the dry time in California is not naturally a drab one. Far from it.

We grow them in ceramic containers, in large wooden boxes, under trees, shaded by buildings, in full sun or partshade. They can be watered and coddled, or neglected and treated to tough love. Every part of California has its own suite of clarkia species, so use them as part of a restoration garden or as a horticultural celebration. We can't say enough about this genus, so we'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Clarkia amoena, farewell to spring

Clarkia rubicunda, Ruby chalice clarkia

Clarkia identification tips:

First note whether deeply lobed, like Clarkia concinna, or not, like Clarkia amoena. Then note presence of markings and their locations, such as at the base, (Clarkia rubicunda) or in the middle of the petal (Clarkia amoena). Note whether buds are upright (Clarkia amoena) or drooping (Clarkia rubicunda). Don't get confused by the term "godetia." - an old common and botanical name no longer in use.

Clarkia unguiculata, mountain garland

Clarkia amoena, farewell to spring

1 comment:

country girl said...

They are so beautiful, Judith. I remember your garden so well.

love, Dawn