If you smell vinegar when walking in open habitat, you may have found yourself in a vinegarweed patch; the unique odor defines this annual wildflower. The foliage contains volatile oils that smell like strong vinegar, camphor, or turpentine. Vinegarweed is a fascinating plant, from the unique odor to the showy curly blue flowers, to its ability to grow in harsh disturbed sites, and its important medicinal value, vinegarweed is just all-around great! Vinegarweed grows in dry, open fields, chaparral, oak woodland, grassland, and disturbed habitat. It is a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family. Vinegarweed has pale blue to lavender flowers that are striking! Sometimes referred to as blue curls, the flowers are slender tubes with five lobes and long, arched stamens that protrude out of the flower and are highly attractive to pollinators. It is a very late blooming plant that is beneficial for late-season pollinators. Blooms August-October. Native American tribes in California used the plant for a wide range of medicinal uses such as headaches, stomachaches, inflammation, bladder problems, a cold and fever remedy, and a pain reliever. It was also used as a fishing aid and a flea repellent. In some California tribes it was so highly valued it was used in trade negotiations. Vinegarweed thrives in dry, nutrient-poor, sunbaked clay soil. It is a western native that grows 6″-2′ tall. Prefers full sun and is shade intolerant. Highly attractive to bees and butterflies.
Seed Germination Instructions
60-90 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to late winter.