Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pink Saturday - Clarkia

Pink Saturday - Beverly at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the color pink inspire you! 

These fresh and pretty pink flowers sold at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market are usually called Godetia in the cut flower and flower seed trade. But, typical of the changing nature of botanical classification, they've been renamed. They are now Clarkia, part of the Ongracae family. The name Clarkia honors the great American explorer William Clark, and it's particularly apt for Clarkia flowers, since they are annuals native to the American western states of Oregon, Washington and California where Clark and his partner Merriwether Lewis roamed. One species, Clarkia lewisii, is named after both explorers!

Clarkia bottae - photo from Wikipedia

Poor Godetia! How strange to retain such an ungraceful common name. Another common name for this flower is Farewell-to-Spring - much prettier, don't you agree?

Clarkias are easy to grow annuals. You can plant them outside in early spring or in the autumn in mild-winter areas, in sandy, fast-draining soil. In late spring, they bloom heavily in a range of colors from pink to lavender to magenta, and seed themselves if they're happy. They make wonderful cut flowers, long-lasting in a vase.

Clarkia unguiculata - photo from Wikipedia

The flowers have four petals, and hybridized versions grown by florists can be double, or even ruffled, mottled and streaked. The species varieties range from showy to modest. Some compete with the hybrids in size and brilliant, showy color, while others are tiny pale beauties. Some native species of Clarkia have petals cut and twisted like little propellers. Here in Southern California, I've seen at least three different species growing in our Santa Monica Mountains.

Clarkia pulchella - photo from Wikipedia

As we're now saying "Farewell to Summer," it's time to think about what to plant for next spring. As you browse your seed catalogs or websites, why not try Godetia - or Clarkia - this year?


Michele said...

your photos are beautiful and i see you live in a beautiful part of the world. happy pink saturday to you! xo

Pat said...

What a pretty flower. I have never seen one before. Thanks for the info - very interesting. I'll check to see if these would grow in my neck of the woods.

Hopefully, you are nowhere near the fires i've been hearing about.

Have a great weekend!

yogurt said...

Really cool flowers. I haven't seen that variety, either. It is endlessly fascinating, seeing the myriad ways flowers compete to entice the bee to their blooms.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Lovely pinks! Can't go wrong with flowers for a Pink Saturday. Thanks for your visit and have a great weekend.


pinkkandy said...

Happy...Happy Pink Saturday..I pray that God will bless you all through out the coming week...
your pinks are so pretty...
God Bless You...

Anonymous said...

(Actually, Clarkia lewisii was named for Harlan Lewis.)