Achyrachaena mollis
"Blow Wives"

Achyrachaena mollia Blow WivesAchyrachaena mollia Blow Wives

An easy to grow drought tolerant CA native annual known for a spherical cluster of seeds with bright, almost shiny, white scales that look like long flower petals. The resulting ‘flowers’ are really eye-catching among grasses or in a mid to late season wildflower mixture, and it re-sows well, but not in a troublesome way. It eventually shatters and can be used for the ancient game of blowing the seeds off to divine your luck finding a sweetheart. The entire plant is delicate and has soft hairs (mollis meaning soft). The ‘real’ flower is also attractive to a detail person. Appearing on the top of a 1’ stem, it has a white center and 5 outer ray flowers with small but interesting yellow to maroon colored petals. Best in full sun and grows well on clay, too. Common in low-elevation hills, higher mountains, valleys, and grasslands across California.

Sun
Low water

Annual
All zones