Clarkia Species, Elegant 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)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun





Foliage Color:




18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Fuchsia (red-purple)


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Palmer, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

El Mirage, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Amesti, California

Castro Valley, California

Chico, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Interlaken, California

Long Beach, California

Malibu, California

Merced, California

Pajaro, California

Sacramento, California

Salinas, California

San Francisco, California

Simi Valley, California

Watsonville, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


On Jun 26, 2010, weatherguesser from Battle Ground, WA (Zone 8b) 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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".


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.


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.


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.


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 ... read more


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.


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.