Clarkia / Clarkia
Common Name: Clarkia
Clarkia species are found primarily in the western United States and British Columbia, with the greatest diversity found in California.
Western United States and Canada; introduced to Quebec
Spring to mid-summer
Full sun to light shade
Clarkia amoena (farewell to spring) is a native, annual wildflower, with a range extending from southern British Columbia west of the Cascades, south to the coast of central California and east to the Columbia River Gorge at elevations below 3000 feet. This routinely available species, which grows to a maximum of 3 feet, is drought-tolerant and prefers well-drained soil. It grows naturally in relatively dry, open slopes but is also found in meadows, prairies, seaside bluffs, coastal scrub and forest edges. The pink flowers, which bloom in late spring to mid-summer, serve as a nectar source for native bumble bees, mason bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. ‘Farewell to spring’ is often included in native wildflower mixes for bee and butterfly meadows or gardens. It readily self-sows in a suitable location.
Clarkia unguiculata (elegant clarkia), native to California, is another commercially available species, producing elegant pink to purple flowers in late spring to early summer. This 1 to 3 foot annual also prefers dry soil, is able to out-compete weedy grasses and will self-sow in many garden settings.