This popular and easy-to-grow annual may seem as if it has been on the British gardening scene from earliest times, but it was not discovered until the last century. The flowers look like miniature Hollyhocks and are borne on upright spikes from early summer. Plant Clarkias in bold groups and support the stems with twigs. Remove the leaves from cut flowers before placing in water.

VARIETIES: The usual Clarkia is C. elegans. Flowers are semi-double or double and shades of red, pink, purple and white are available. ‘Bouquet Mixed’ (2 ft) is a popular variety bearing blooms which are 2 in. across. C. pulchella (1 ft) is a smaller and more dainty plant with white, rose or lilac flowers.

SITE AND SOIL: Thrives best in light or medium soil which is slightly acid. Choose a sunny spot.

PLANT DETAILS: Height 1.5-2 ft.

Spacing: 1 ft.

Flowering period: July-October.

PROPAGATION: Dislikes root disturbance. Sow seeds in April where they are to flower. Thin to required spacing.

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