About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Clarkia (Satin flower)

Clarkia are very pretty with soft pink, white, red and salmon flowers. They also have a long vase life. However, they are native to the Pacific Northwest and really do best in climates that stay relatively cool and have slower springs than we do. I have been experimenting with them for the past 3 years and each year I get a few more usable stems. If you get any of these in your bouquets this year, take a good look because the harvest season is only a week or two. They burn up quickly if the weather turns hot and are difficult enough in this climate that I would not recommend them for the home garden.

Clarkia used to be called Godetia and you will often see it listed as that. The seeds I am growing this year were listed in the GeoSeed catalog as Godetia 'Flamingo'. For those new to flower gardening (I don’t hear of this much among vegetables) taxonomists are constantly deciding that they have mis-classified something and changing the botanical name. The old name often persists for years so things get confusing. When you look up the botanical name for Feverfew you may find it listed as Tanacetum or Matricaria or Chrysanthemum. While generally deploring the confusion these name changes cause, Alan Armitage in Speciality Cut Flowers, approves of the Godetia to Clarkia change, since it is named for William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

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