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Achyrachaena mollis - Blow wives

Springtime Native Seed Collection

common lomatium/spring gold (Lomatium utriculatum)

Many early-blooming wildflowers have already begun to set seed. Here at Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds we are already collecting seeds of species like common lomatium/spring gold (Lomatium utriculatum), hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum grande), and blow wives (Achyrachaena mollis). Over the next few weeks many more early-blooming species, such as silver bush lupine, will have ripe seeds ready for early-season seed collection.

Lupinus albifrons - Silver bush lupine
Silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons) seed will be ripening within the next two weeks

From our recent collection of blow wives seed we now have a new species to offer in our inventory. See the plant description for blow wives below and purchases seeds by clicking SHOP.

Achyrachaena mollis - Blow wives
Blow wives (Achyrachaena mollis) flowers

Blow wives (Achyrachaena mollis)

One of the earliest wildflowers to bloom and set seed in the spring, blow wives are an integral part of low-elevation grasslands, sunny slopes and oak woodland habitat in the Klamath-Siskiyou region. Blow wives is the only plant in the genus Achyrachaena. It is an annual wildflower that blooms in April to early May and grows from 6″-1.3′ tall. Blow wives grows in sunny locations that dry out in the summer. It is a very drought tolerant species. The actual flowers are small and yellow and not very noticeable underneath the white scales (disk achenes) that are attached to the fruit that aid wind dispersal of the seed. The seeds develop quickly, opening into an attractive display that is sometimes mistaken for the flower itself. Blow wives are unusual in this regard, as they can be easily overlooked when in flower, but hard to miss when in seed. Blow wives do well in various soil types, including serpentine and clay. The name blow wives is used both singular and plural.

Blow Wives Seed Germination Instructions

No pretreatment necessary. Best germination will be achieved if planted outside in fall through early winter.

Achyrachaena mollis - Blow wives
Blow wives (Achyrachaena mollis) flowers and seed heads