(Images provided by AFIF)
Although you may not have heard of the wild flower Godetia, you may have heard of the Farewell-to-Spring, which is the alternate, more familiar name to this coastal and mountainous flower. Although this flower can be found all over North and South America, a high population of the godetia resides in the west coast, mostly in California. This is where Captain Clark of the Lewis and Clark expeditions was said to have discovered this flower, therefore giving it its third name of Clarkia (this is also the genus name). Godetia, Farewell-to-Spring, Clarkia- whatever you call it, this annual flower is a beautifully easy addition to your home and garden.
Godetia flowers are shaped like cups or funnels and usually have a tonal range of reds, whites and pinks, though they can be found in other colors. Most of these flowers are not a solid color though. They commonly have a diffused contrast of colors that run throughout the petal. Growing in flower head clusters on a single, sturdy stem, this range of colors is a beautiful sight. Heights of this plant can reach 10” to 2.5’ when fully grown.
Many flowers can be propagated indoors first and then transferred into the garden outdoors, but the godetia prospers much more when the seeds are planted directly outside, atop the flowerbed (spread seeds 10-12” apart) and partially covered by the soil. The reason for this is because the seeds need a good amount of sunlight in order to germinate. Keep in mind, the godetia thrives in cooler climates and hates being hot and humid so growing them in the early spring or fall is your best bet. For a healthy growing seedling to flower, make sure to deposit them in a nutritious, moist soil. Water regularly to keep the soil damp, while making sure you’re not saturating it. *Tip: For an even healthier flower, add compost to the soil before planting the seed. Once planted, add a general purpose fertilizer for additional nutrition.
For more information on how to care for this easy-to-grow wild flower, contact your local florist. They may even be able to help take your soon to be home-grown godetia’s and turn them into a beautiful cut arrangement.
Also visit our Godetia Life Cycle page.