Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens, Hayfield Tarweed

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Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens

Hayfield tarweed is surprising that this sturdy, drought-tolerant beautiful wildflower isn't grown more in gardens. Hayfield tarweed has two forms, one that blooms in spring and the other that turns late summer fields bright lemon yellow with its daisy-like flowers. We carry the spring-blooming form, which comes along in April - June, after goldfields has set seed and succumbed. It grows  8” to 1'  tall.

It is a high-ranking insectary plant, with a intense pungent fragrance that is uniquely Californian. Found in full sun, it grows well on clay and on serpentine. Its triangular, black seeds were a very important food source for indigenous peoples.

We have enjoyed finding this species in great masses, on serpentine and in pastures. We found it growing with blue-eyed grass, Sisyrinchium bellum, and meadow barley, Hordeum brachyantherum. It has a long bloom period. This species is a real pleasure, though ranchers may not appreciate its unpalatability to horses, some of whom eat daintily around it.