We’ve got a fun and interesting report for our second Flower Friday of July! We’ve previously featured the California Blue Bell, a flower variety we’ve grown for several years now.
Well, we were quite surprised to learn that this flower, native to the Mojave desert, can successfully seed in our short growing season. Not just that, but the seeds can easily survive through a zone 3 winter!
We’ve had several volunteer Blue Bells pop up this year, a bit of a surprise since our aging seed stock didn’t successfully germinate this year. This may have happened in years past, but we just didn’t catch it since we were growing the variety and it was expected to see them bloom!
This flower would normally be populating the Baja deserts of the southern West Coast. This Blue Bell is among 200+ species that are within the Pharcelia (Heliotrope) genus. We love the deep blue color, striking and capturing the attention, just to observe the flagrantly deployed pistils that invite pollinators in for a deeper inspection. It’s remarkably fitting this desert variety also does just fine growing in a subarctic desert, not unlike the Interior of Alaska.
We are constantly amazed at the various varieties of annual plants that successfully seed out and then survive our super harsh winter. We’ve seen this with a lot of other flowers that we’ve introduced, from Violas to Poppies to Strawberry Spinach!
We’re keeping track of these varieties that successfully seed and survive in our extreme northern climate. The long term goal is to get an article going to document them. It’s not quite the perennial game, but we certainly welcome the opportunity to grow unique and lovely annuals that require zero work to replenish!