Clarkia amoena
Common Name: satin flower
Type: Annual
Family: Onagraceae
Native Range: Coastal bluffs northwestern California
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Red to pink to lavender
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy

Culture

Cool weather annual. It is easily grown in average, moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants appreciate some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Plants also appreciate good air circulation. Start seed indoors in pots 6-8 weeks before last frost date or sow directly in the garden as soon as the ground can be worked. Plants often perform poorly in hot and humid summer weather, and will produce best bloom prior to the onset of peak summer heat. Plants may not last the growing season in hot St. Louis summers. Plants may reseed in the garden in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Clarkia amoena, commonly called satin flower, is native from British Columbia to central California. It is a popular cool weather annual that is grown in beds and borders for its satiny, cup-shaped flowers whose petals have the texture of crepe paper. Flowers typically bloom from late spring to early/mid summer as announced by this plant’s additional common name of farewell-to-spring. Plants grow to 30” tall on erect to lax stems clad with lanceolate leaves (to 2.5” long). Four-petaled flowers (2-3” diameter) are red to pink to lavender often with a blotch or spot at the base of each petal. Cultivars come in both single and double form. Synonymous with and formerly known as Godetia amoena.

Genus name honors Captain William Clark (1770-1838), who, with Captain Meriwether Lewis, made the first transcontinental expedition, crossing the Rocky Mountains in 1806.

Specific epithet means pleasant or delightful.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, stem rot and leaf spot. Watch for aphids and mites.

Garden Uses

Beds, borders, cottage gardens, cutting gardens or pots/containers.