Grow Native Wildflowers
California poppies are only one of many native wildflowers that can brighten spring gardens. Here are some suggested by the Theodore Payne Foundation, originators of the wildflower hotline for the state.
- Coastal Poppy (Eschscholzia californica var. maritima) – Golden yellow flowers with orange throats blossom above the gray-green leaves of this low-growing plant. Thrives in sunny coastal areas.
- Beach Sun Cups (Camissonia cheiranthifolia) – Sandy soils are preferred by this ground-hugging perennial with lemon-yellow buttercup-like flowers.
- Globe and Bird’s Eye Gilia (Gilia capitata and Gilia tricolor) – These easy-to-grow annuals are ideal companions for California poppies. Globe gilia has showy orbs of sky-blue flowers; bird’s eye has violet-edged white petals around dark centers. Both grow a foot tall or more tall. Sun.
- Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii) - An earlier bloomer, baby blue eyes are about 6 inches tall with watery blue and white flowers. Thrives throughout the county in shade to part-shade.
- Farewell-to-Spring and Winecup Clarkia (Clarkia amoena and Clarkia purpurea) – These late-spring bloomers with flowers in shades of pink extend the season. Good cut flowers. Grows 2-feet or more tall.
Individual seed packets can be ordered at www.store.theodorepayne.org where you’ll also find a seed sowing guide.