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For first year color, it's hard to beat annuals. The more time seedlings have to get well rooted, the bigger and longer the bloom in spring.

To continue yearly production of annual wildflowers, allow plants to set seed before clearing spent plants away from the area.

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Baby Blue Eyes

(Nemophila menziesii)

Popular wildflower variety grown in gardens. Blooms are produced at the ends of 6" to 12" stems, well above the foliage, so that in a breeze they nod and flutter in the breeze. Flower petals open & close in response to temperature. To prolong bloom in hot inland areas, provide some afternoon shade. Grows up to 6,000' elevation.

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Chinese Houses

(Collinsia heterophylla)

Named for their fancied resemblance to pagodas. The two-lipped flowers are produced in dense whorls reaching 6" to 15" tall in full bloom. Part shade & regular water are best. Natural habitat is concentrated in shaded slopes in many plant communities. Grows up to 5,420' elevation.

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Elegant Clarkia

(Clarkia unguiculata)

Erect growth to 1' to 3' tall and wide with nice branching (give this plant some room). Blooms are produced over a long period from late spring through early summer. Typically dark pink, but flower color may vary from white to rosey-purple on different plants. Will tolerate some afternoon shade in hot inland areas. Native to grasslands, chaparral, and woodland areas from Lake county south to San Diego County and east to the Sierra Nevada foothills. Grows up to 4,500' elevation.

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Five Spot

(Nemophila maculata)

An early bloomer are found on moist, sunny, grassy slopes. Inconspicuous foliage blends in w/ other vegetation until masses of white blooms burst open, seemingly all at once. To prolong bloom in hot inland areas, provide some afternoon shade. Native to the Sierra foothills and mountain slopes below 7,500' elevation from Nevada County to the north of Kern County in the south.

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Globe Gilia

(Gilia capitata)

Small, individual pale sky blue flowers are held in tight head-like clusters on the ends of stems ranging from 6” to 2’. Found from British Columbia to Baja California, growing in fields, on banks, and in chaparral or oak woodlands, up to 6,000' elevation. An excellent companion to other California wildflowers.

Full sun to part shade.

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Godetia 'Cattleya Lilac'

(Clarkia amoena)

The genus was named in honor of Captain William Clark of the 1804 Lewis and Clark Expedition. Also known as ‘Farewell To Spring’, expect a beautiful show of lilac pink blooms w/ crimson blotches in late spring to early summer. They make a nice cut flower. Plants grow to 1-2 ft tall & re-seed freely. Best in full sun & regular water while blooming. Grows up to 4,500' elevation.

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Sky Lupine

(Lupinus nanus)

Often casting a fragrant blue carpet on hillsides & roadsides. This Lupine represents springtime in California, especially when combined w/ CA Poppies. Grows 6-24” tall. Grows up to 6,500' elevation. 

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Tansy Leaf Phacelia

(Phacelia tanacetifolia)

Vigorous & easy to grow. Small lavender-blue flowers appear in large numbers. The blooms resemble fiddlenecks; uncoiling as the flowers open. A choice flower for pollinators. Plants can grow 1’-3’ tall.

Found in open areas in many plant communities; Mojave Desert, Central Valley, and bordering ranges, from Lake & Butte counties south to northwestern Baja California. Grows up to 5,000' elevation.

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Tidy Tips

(Layia platyglossa)

Annual wildflower is widespread throughout California. Cheerful butter yellow flowers tipped w/ white have a long bloom period in spring. Grows 6-12” tall in a sunny spot. Especially attractive with Globe Gilia.

Found in grasslands or inland valleys, and on open slopes of the foothills up to 4,500' in the lower ponderosa pine forests.

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White Meadowfoam

(Limnanthes alba)

A low-growing early spring blooming annual to 8 in tall. Named at full bloom for its solid canopy of creamy white flowers. Native to valleys in Northern California and Central Oregon. Adapted to poorly drained soils, moist or sporadically dry. Found near vernal pools and grasslands. A favored wildflower of beekeepers as the honey produced tastes mildly of toasted marshmallows. Grows up to 5,400' elevation.

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Whorled Lupine

(Lupinus microcarpus densiflorus)

Deep golden yellow flowers are wrapped around the stem in tiers on 10” stalks. Lupines have nitrogen-fixing abilities which make them especially garden-worthy. Grows up to 4,800' elevation.

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Winecup Clarkia

(Clarkia purpurea)

An easy wildflower that grows up to 18" tall. Small four-petaled pink to purple flowers are bowl (wine cup) shaped often with darker pink or purple spots. Blooms from mid to late spring. Makes a lovely cut flower. Nectar-producing - attracts birds, butterflies, and bees. Best grown in full sun to some shade. Found in meadow and woodland habitats from BC south through Washington, Oregon, most of California, and parts of Arizona up to 6,000' elevation. Reseeds well. 

Annual Wildflowers
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