Flower Resource

Clarkia – A Plant of the Onagraceae Family

The Clarkia is also called satin flower and it belongs to Onagraceae family that includes fuchsia and evening primrose.

These flowers get their name from William Clark of the Lewis from Clark expedition. This plant was discovered by Clark on Pacific Coast of North America and he brought back them specimen when he returned. Then in 1823 another explorer William Davis rediscovered them and distributed the seeds. These flowers are 1 to 3 feet tall and spread about 8 to 12 inches. The flowers bloom in winter in mild climates and most flowers are doubles pr semi doubles and have crepe like frilly petals. The flowers come in wide range of colors like deep pink to white and nowadays many cultivars includes oranges and purples. They also come in double petaled varieties. The plants are clumping with low leaves and two to three foot blossom covered spikes.

The Clarkia flowers symbolize charm and enthusiasm and so you can give these flowers to your crush or new found love and let them know how charming you are.

Uses of Clarkia

  • These beauties will bring charm and vivid color to your summer garden.
  • These are edible flowers and its seeds are grounded and eaten dry in form of powder.
  • The medicinal use of these Clarkia flowers is Ophthalmic and also green and gold dyes are obtained from these flowers.

Interesting Facts

  • Several species are grown ornamentally especially Clarkia amoena.
  • In most species of the flower, petals have some spots at specific positions which are an ecological trait that affects pollination.
  • Understanding these genetic changes alters the development processes to generate phenotypic diversity and this is one of the major objectives of evolutionary developmental biology.

Soil Needed

  • They require well drained soil and they do not like overly rich or wet soil.
  • They require location with full sun or partial shade.

How to Plant?

  • The plants do not transplant well and so you can plant the seeds in fall in warm areas.
  • Sow the seeds densely and later thin the plants to 4 to 6 inches apart, so that they can lean on each other for support.
  • In cold climates, you can plant the seeds in early spring.
  • You can also plant the seeds indoors and use peat pots to make transplanting easier.
  • Sow the seeds some 4 to 6 weeks before last frost.
  • To germinate they need light so do not bury them but press them onto the surface of the soil.
  • You can transplant them outdoors once the seeds come up and so find a cool location of it.

Maintenance and Care

  • Water the plants regularly until they are well established.
  • They are drought tolerant and do not need fertilizer once established.
  • They have weak stems so you can stick few twiggy branches into the soil around the plants while they are younger so they can be supported later.
  • It is a low maintenance plant and its water needs are also very low.