Wispy Spring Annuals

Along with the linaria I mentioned recently, some of the other wispy spring annuals I’ve been experimenting with in pots are this Anagallis.
A. monelii, the Blue Pimpernel.


And a little nemesia with long spurs, N. cheiranthus ‘Shooting Stars.’


The trachelium and white valerian are self-sown, into both paving and the garden.

Trachelium caeruleum

I want to see more of this cheerful kind of volunteerism. More diversity too. Hence, the experiment every year with something new.

Senecio stellata, about 3 feet tall, self-sown from a few plants last year, sidling up to tetrapanax.


Some flowering tobaccos like Nicotiana langsdorfii already self-sow for me.


This year I’m hoping to add N. mutabilis to the roster of volunteers.


And variegated honesty, Lunaria annua.


Annie’s Annuals or any good seed catalogue is a good source for recruiting future volunteers of the wispy, annual kind.

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8 Responses to Wispy Spring Annuals

  1. Ryan Miller says:

    what a great category of annuals! I plan on looking into all of these, especially the Trachelium caeruleum.

  2. I had to laugh – it looks like you’ve been taking pictures in MY garden as we have many of the same plants! I love my cinneraria, too, as it not only gives plenty of ‘freebies’ but it blooms for months at a time! And n. mutabilis is probably my all-time favorite, blooming for months and months at a time, providing a gazillion softly scented flowers and airy, wispy height in the garden. Lovely post!

  3. Denise says:

    Ryan, I think they’d do well for you, especially the flowering tobaccos.
    Rebecca, that cineraria is getting to be known as the “San Francisco daisy.” I don’t think it will be as long-blooming here. The heat seems to knock the stuffing out of it.

  4. Scott says:

    Lovely…I’m a total sucker for those sort of diaphenous plants…so great for mixing in for those little spots of “spontaneous” color and interest.

  5. Kaveh says:

    When you grow Nicotiana langsdorfii and N. mutabalis together you get some really interesting hybrids. For some reason I have never had N. mutabalis set seed here in SoCal though. It always did in NoCal and the east coast so not sure if it is a case of a pollinator missing or what the deal is.

  6. Denise says:

    Scott, that’s a potential nursery name. We’ve already got Architectural Plants. Next…Diaphanous Plants.
    Kaveh, that’s disappointing news about mutabilis. I’ve always had trouble starting both langsdorfii and mutabilis from seed, so having them self-sow is the ideal situation.

  7. Kaveh says:

    I wonder if N. mutabalis isn’t just self infertile. I’ve only had one specimen each time I have had it bloom here in SoCal. Let me know if you get any seed from yours.

  8. Denise says:

    Kaveh, I’ll let you know. I’ve got one N. mutabilis in a pot and one in the garden, which is far outstripping the potted one in height already.

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