The optimal wildflower for seasonally wet sites, such as rain gardens or bioswales.
This very showy annual naturally occurs in vernal pools and other poorly drained sites on both sides of the Cascades, and from British Columbia to California.
From extensively branching stems, elegant calicoflower grows a profusion of small purple and white flowers (and occasionally all-white flowers), typically remaining less than a foot or so in height.
This is the perfect rain garden or bioswale plant, and surprisingly isn’t used more often in such settings. In naturally damp locations, the blooms tend to start in late spring through mid-summer as the soil dries out. For a perfect mix of striking wildflowers for damp locations, combine it with Douglas meadowfoam and western buttercup. Or scatter seeds into rain gardens to create a native understory to perennial shrubs and other taller plants.