Spring Gold Seeds (Lomatium utriculatum)
Occurring from British Columbia to Baja, spring gold is one of the first meadow plants to flower every year – typically first showing off its radiant golden beauty from February to June – depending on the location and elevation.
This handsome little member of the carrot family is a first-rate plant for attracting many types of interesting small native bees, including: the striped miner bee (Andrena angustitarsata), the caerulean mining bee (Andrena caerulea), the green-bellied miner bee (Andrena chlorogaster), Hippotes’s biner Bee (Andrena hippotes), the lupine miner bee (Andrena lupinorum), the rose miner bee (Andrena melanochroa), the small green miner bee (Andrena microchlora), the pale-faced miner bee (Andrena pallidifovea), piper’s miner bee (Andrena piperi), the willow miner bee (Andrena salicifloris), the subtle miner bee (Andrena subtilis), the prickly ceratina (Ceratina acantha), Kincaid’s mason bee (Osmia kincaidii), and numerous other little creatures with no common names: Osmia penstemonis, Andrena nevadensis, Andrena orthocarpi, Andrena forbesii, Andrena frigida, and Andrena gordoni.
Spring gold also attracts numerous beneficial listte syrphid flies and scores of nectaring butterflies. It is also a host plant for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars and for the hemi-parasitic plant, yellow rattle.
Spring gold is ridiculously tolerant of many different conditions: very dry sites with gravel soil, moist soils with heavy clay, windswept embankments, and more. It can tolerate seasonally wet sites in the winter, but needs those sites to dry out in spring and summer. It also will not tolerate extensive shade.
Spring gold benefits from cold/moist stratification in out experience so we recommend planting it in the fall. It can be included in spring plantings, and the seed tends to have good viability in the soil, but it will not usually make its first appearance as a seedling until the winter rains return. We successfully grow this plant from seed in deep containers, then plant the young seedlings into meadows the following year.
Spring gold has soft, lacy leaves and it usually stays less than a foot in height. It will produce an edible taproot, and it’s a great companion with common camas, Roemer’s fescue, showy fleabane, and other shorter-stature perennials.
Approximately 200 to 300 seeds (2 grams).