Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Clarkia, Garland Flower, Mountain Garland
Clarkia unguiculata

Family: Onagraceae (on-uh-GRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Clarkia (KLAR-kee-uh) (Info)
Species: unguiculata (un-gwee-kew-LAH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Clarkia elegans

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 29 photos.
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10 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive misskoral On Aug 4, 2011, misskoral from Castro Valley, CA wrote:

Not the plant I ordered! But glad I decided to keep them once they came up. Striking, robust, brilliant-colored plants. So graceful and delicate looking, but can withstand the elements like a champ. Had some deer mow them down to just 3 inch stumps and they came back beautifully (after I moved them to deer-free territory). Thank you nursery, whichever one you were, who sent me these instead of echinacea green eyes.

Positive weatherguesser On Jun 26, 2010, weatherguesser from Salinas, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although the plant information says Full Sun, I have grown these this year from seed in a very shady spot and they've bloomed fine in several different colors. They were part of a shade garden seed package I bought and were sown directly in the garden. The plants are a bit spindly, probably because of growing in shade, but have produced lots of very nice flowers.

Positive lehua_mc On Jul 8, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I started this from a Ferry Morse Butterfly and Hummingbird Wildflower Mix, which considering the various sowing depths preferred, what was actually going to come up was a question. The Mountain Garland was profuse in the first year, with the Shirley Poppies. I identified the Clarkia first by the delicate rose/pale mauve color of its branched stems, then by the buds which march up and down the stem itself. Now in the second year, very little of the original seed plantings are coming back, but a few of the Clarkia are making an appearance in May.

Positive Careywood360 On Jun 4, 2009, Careywood360 from Careywood, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love this plant! It's so undemanding and so beautiful! I will say that I've never had good luck starting it indoors, but if I just leave it alone and let it direct seed, it's always vigorous and prolific.

Positive straea On May 20, 2009, straea from Somerville, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Unlike some of the others who have commented, this plant has never survived summers for me. However, it is such a beautiful plant - and so absurdly easy to grow from seed, often having 100% germination for me for seeds sown right in the garden bed - that I can't imagine gardening without it. I always just assume that the plants will die partway through the summer, and seed in summer/autumn bloomers to take over from the clarkias when they die. I just seeded them in about a month ago and some of the little plants (still seedling-sized!) already have buds. Full sun or partial shade, it doesn't care; dry, moist, or medium soil, it doesn't care; windy, sheltered, or inbetween, it doesn't care. I can only think of a handful of annuals that are easier to satisfy.

Negative pamsaplantin On Aug 31, 2007, pamsaplantin from Morgantown, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I started these rather late from seed in a window box. They did reach the point that 1 or 2 had small blooms. Then they just started turning brown & have gone downhill ever since. They were no more than 6-8 inches long & were more like a vine than upright. Maybe, based on the comments by bemidjigreen, I left them too long in the cells? That might account for the floppiness & maybe for the stunted growth. But I can't figure out why they are dying. Anyway, unless someone can tell me what I did wrong I don't plan to try this one again.

Positive bemidjigreen On Jul 17, 2007, bemidjigreen from Blackduck, MN wrote:

Clarkia It is a perfect choice for a cottage garden. They look stunning with feverfew var white wonder. It doesn't seem very picky about soil--it does fine in my somewhat amended clay soil. It does not self-sow so you will have to start from seed each year.

It is a very easy annual to start from seed. Don't start these too early, they get very leggy and droppy if left in seed packs too long. Its best to start about 4 weeks before planting out time in your area. they can handle chilly nights (as low as 40F) until summer gets into full swing. If planted when only 2-3" tall, they will be upright in the garden. If you let them sit in seedling packs longer they will ramble rather than reach their full height. In my area that is about 18".

Positive bmuller On Jun 12, 2007, bmuller from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've grown this plant for several years--mostly in pots--and it puts on a nice show. It blooms for a long time from seed that I usually plant fairly early in the season (March, mostly). I've had better luck with elegans than with other kinds of clarkia, but that may just be due to my climate or conditions. It does reseed, but not heavily.

Positive yardbird On Mar 1, 2004, yardbird from Maben, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is also listed in some seed books as Mountain Garland. This will be my first year for this plant and looking forward to adding it to my garden. I winter sowed it the first week of Feb and I think every seed germinated.

Neutral debi_z On Jun 19, 2003, debi_z from Springfield, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

this plant was grown in this country in the early 1900's. i'm reading a historical novel and it says "....flowerbed of roses, zinnias, cosmos, poppies and clarkias." i had no idea what these were so i came here to the database.

Positive grovespirit On Nov 1, 2002, grovespirit from Sunset Valley, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Beautiful, nontoxic, easy to grow in a warm climate!!!

I live in Central Texas, on the border of Zones 7 and 8. I got it for .50. It was on clearance; slightly wilty. I figured, what the heck... 50 cents is nothing. I bought it for my 4 year old niece 2 years ago who wanted it for its elegant, delicately shaped purple flowers that sort of resemble small orchids.

Flower color is a very intense purple. My niece says they are the color of Grimace (a McBurger & Shake monster). I bought it for her & watered it. It perked up in minutes. My niece didn't know how to take care of it and her Mom, a working gal, was too busy. I agreed to grow it for my niece when she visits.

We're SO glad I planted it! It became my niece's favorite excuse to come visit me (I'm 30 miles away). When she visits she makes bouquets, crowns, and necklace-garlands out of the many flower spikes (hence the name). It went into unamended clay in a sunny and poorly drained part of my Iris bed in June. I neither fertilized nor mulched.

It's been pest and disease free since planting. Hungry sowbugs, gluttonous locusts (grasshopper plague), even vicious fire ants leave it be!! I didn't even have to water except in severe drought! All I did was remove grass from it once a month, leaving a 1" grassless zone around it.

It amazingly survives Summer temps up to 110F even without that's a trick! It goes dormant in severe drought (here, that's all of August). When temps are above 40F & below 90F and soil is moist/wet, it bears TONS of cute 1" purple flowers on long racemes. It looks sort of like Larkspur spikes, except this plant is nontoxic.

Except for snoozing thru Summer scorch (can you blame it??), it blooms from the moment in Spring that my Irises quit flowering (mid Feb) all the way to the moment in Fall that my Fall flowers (goldenrods, mums, asters) bloom (early Nov). That's a heckuva blooming season! Supposedly, this plant is an annual.

But I mulched it under 2" of straw just in case. To our delight, it sprang up early this Feb. in the exact same spot, from dormant roots or some seeds it had dropped. You can't beat that with a stick. 2 years of outstanding floral display, and still going strong!

All this for .50 ...Unbelievable! I would have paid $5 if I knew it would turn out this well. Overall, this plant is Highly Recommended!!!

Positive Weezingreens On Sep 7, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

I first grew clarkia because I had good experiences with godetia in our climate, and they are related. The clarkia were late to bloom, but put on quite a show. I planted a mix of doubles, and they bloomed in white, rose, salmon, lavender, and pink. The blooms appeared along the woody stems, as did the seed pods, shaped like little cucumbers.

Neutral poppysue On Aug 11, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Garland flower comes in a rainbow of colors including red, rose, orange, purple and white. Flower spikes 2 feet or larger open from the bottom upward. Native to North America it also makes an excellent cut flower.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Palmer, Alaska
Seward, Alaska
El Mirage, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Amesti, California
Castro Valley, California
Chico, California
Long Beach, California
Malibu, California
Merced, California
Sacramento, California
Salinas, California
San Francisco, California
Simi Valley, California
Careywood, Idaho
Saint Charles, Illinois
Delphi, Indiana
Milton, Massachusetts
Somerville, Massachusetts
Carson City, Nevada
Greenville, New Hampshire
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bandon, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Columbia, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
West Dummerston, Vermont
Bellingham, Washington
Lynnwood, Washington
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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