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Caulanthus crassicaulis

Caulanthus crassicaulis
thick-stem wild cabbage
Caulanthus crassicaulis
In the summer of its first year, it just makes its rosette

Common name thick-stem wild cabbage
Family brassicaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers cream
Light sun
From seed germinate at room temperature; germination occurs over an extended period
detailed seed-starting info below

Wild mustard relative of the western United States. To be fair, it has limited ornamental value, with small creamy flowers held along a single stalk that shoots up from a small rosette of spoon-shaped bluish-green leaves. But in my quest to grow any plant that I manage to raise from seed to maturity, I was glad to get exactly one of last year's seedlings through the winter, in one of our hypertufa troughs. It bloomed in its curious fashion by the middle of May in its second year. Up close inspection reveals that the flowerbuds are in fact burgundy, but covered in white hairs which produce the overall grayish appearance. The buds proceed to open from the bottom up, to reveal tiny bicolored petals. Not a stunner by any means, but very much in the interesting to watch class of plants.

thick-stem wild cabbage
Showing various stages of bud opening
Caulanthus crassicaulis
Up close and personal

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from NARGS '11/'12 exchange, cold-stored through summer. Baggy 70F (50%G, 11-51d)

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