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Red ribbons (Clarkia concinna) can be best described as a pinwheel of hot pink blossoms in mid-spring. This annual wild flower comes to us primarily from the central and northern California Coast Ranges where it is found in open woodlands, forests and chaparral. Its four dark pink elongated petals sit in clusters at the tips of compact low growing stems with medium green foliage. Red ribbons put on their best show planted in tight groups in dappled light.

This year’s crop was grown from seed collected on my land east of Willits in the Eel River watershed where it grows in the filtered light of deciduous oaks on sloped often rocky road cuts. There they are often accompanied by blue dichs (Dichelostemma capitatum) and stone crop (Sedum spathulifolium) creating a riot of pink, lavender and yellow. This versatile wild flower does not seem fussy as to soil type so long as it is afforded drainage and a bit of relief from direct sun light.