White Meadowfoam Seeds (Limnanthes alba)
A great bee plant for wet and poorly drained soils.
Native to Oregon and northern California, white meadowfoam is sometimes commercially cultivated for its excellent seed oil, which is used in cosmetics, medical ointments, smokeless candles, lubricants for precision machinery, and other specialty products. (Interesting trivia: Meadowfoam oil is considered to be the best plant-based alternative to whale oil, due to its long shelf life and stable chemical properties. The similarity to whale oil is part of what prompted its initial development as a commercial crop!).
Oil aside, we love this plant for its vigorous cool season growth and ability to tolerate seasonally wet or flooded meadows, emerging in warm spring weather with dense low growing masses of almost blindingly white flowers that are covered in bees and syrphid flies.
In natural settings, this wonderful annual wildflower grows in wet vernal pools (temporary seasonal ponds), and has some ability to tolerate grassy conditions. In locations without a thick layer of thatch, it can re-seed itself, only decreasing when too much dense weedy vegetation crowds it out.
Meadowfoam honey has the famous distinction of tasting like vanilla, or marshmallows, and sometimes commands premium prices.
Meadowfoam is best planted in early autumn or mid- to-late winter.
Approximately 400-600 seeds per packet (2.0 grams).