Clarkia wildflowers (Clarkia spp.) get their name from William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Clark discovered the plant on the Pacific Coast of North America and brought back specimens when he returned. They didn’t really catch on until 1823 when another explorer, William Davis, rediscovered them and distributed the seeds. Ever since, clarkia has been a staple of cottage and cutting gardens. Clarkia plants grow to between 1 and 3 feet tall and spread 8 to 12 inches. Clarkia flowers bloom in summer or fall, and sometimes in winter in mild climates. Most flowers are doubles or semi-doubles and have frilly, crepe-like petals. They come in a wide range of colors. Clarkia flower care is a snap, and once you plant them in the garden there is very little to do but enjoy them. These pretty wildflowers look great in many garden situations. Consider growing clarkia in cutting or cottage gardens, mass plantings, wildflower meadows, borders, containers or on the edges of woodlands.
Direct sow outdoors after last frost – mid-March on the coast, and twice again at two week intervals for a nice, long bloom period. Clarkia is so susceptible to damping off that sowing indoors is not practical. If absolutely necessary, sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost in peat pots topped with vermiculite under very bright light, with good ventilation at 12-21°C (55-70°), watering only from below.
Sow on the surface of the soil, as the seeds need light to germinate. Thin to 15-23cm (6-9″) apart.