Crepis rubra (Pink Hawksbeard) [12 Seeds]

$3.95

Germination Information: Pink hawksbeard plants are rather delicate when young and seem to dislike being disturbed, so the usual advice is to sow the seeds directly where you’d like them to grow in early to mid spring, spaced a few inches apart and just barely covered with soil. (Keep the area moist until seedlings appear, which can take a few weeks.)

That being said, I start my pink hawksbeard indoors in early to mid-spring, under lights, sowing 3 to 5 seeds in a 4-inch pot of moist growing medium and then transplanting the seedlings in those groups as soon as danger of frost has passed, taking care to disturb the roots as little as possible. That approach works well for me, as it gives them a head start and allows them to bloom well before summer heat arrives. You may want to experiment to see which approach works best in your particular conditions.

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Description

Pink hawksbeard (Crepis rubra) is a charming addition to the cool-season garden. Looking very much like a pink-flowered dandelion, its layered, pink-petaled blooms appear mainly in late spring to early or midsummer atop stems that typically reach about 1 foot tall, over a low rosette of slender, green leaves. Deadheading can help to prolong to bloom season a bit, but hot weather will bring it to an end in fairly short order. If the plants survive the main part of the summer, they may produce more flowers later in the season, but don’t count on it unless you live where cool summers are the norm. The flowers mature into tufts of silky white hairs atop very thin, dark seeds.

Though the flowering season isn’t very long in most areas, pink hawksbeard is a lovely choice for its “something different” factor. It also attracts a variety of beneficial insects. This Mediterranean native is reportedly right at home in poor, dry soil, but it also performs well for me in well-prepared, evenly moist garden soil. Full sun to light shade. Usually grown as an annual (that’s how I do it), but it can apparently act as a perennial in certain conditions.

Collected in July 2020. At least 12 seeds.

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