Bird’s Eye flower is an excellent choice to use in rocky areas or patches of ground, such as slopes or hills that just cannot grow much of anything. It is a dainty-looking wildflower, which can quickly invade large patches of ground once its seeds have been sown on bare ground and its roots have become established. It is an annual plant, native to the beautiful valleys and foothills of California. It is easy to grow requiring little if any maintenance.
Description of Bird’s Eye Flowers
The daisy-like pale lavender, pink and white petals (thus its botanical name, tricolor), of the Bird’s Eye flower form a semi-tubular shape, sending out a visual invitation to nectar-seeking hummingbirds. The one-half inch flowers have golden colored throats and stamens covered with brilliant, deep blue pollen attracting hungry bees and multiple species of butterflies. It has thin green leaves and reaches heights up to three feet.
Planting Bird’s Eye Flowers
As I mentioned above, Bird’s Eye flower requires little maintenance. It is annual, that dies off with the first frost and will grow again in the spring. It will also re-seed in milder climates, if the conditions are correct. If planting Bird’s Eye for the first time, spread the tiny seeds on the bare ground under a full hot sun. Water lightly. Seeds can be sown inside six weeks before last frost. Before moving outdoors and planting, be sure to harden off the plants.
Bird’s Eye is not fussy about what type of soil it prefers. It can and does grow in terrible soil conditions. As long as the soil is dry, warm, and well drained, it will thrive.
Growing Bird’s Eye Flowers
Bird’s Eye flower is hardy to all regions in North America (zones three to ten), but grows best in regions that are hot and dry. If growing in damp climates, try planting on slopes where water will not pool and lay. The blooms appear mid-season and last through the fall to the first frost. Some say the flower gives off a chocolate aroma.
Uses for Bird’s Eye Flowers
Bird’s Eye flowers look lovely in fresh cut bouquets. Because they have multiple colors, they go well with purple, yellow or white flowers. Use them instead of Baby’s Breath. They are easy to dry and retain their vibrant color when dried, making them a great addition to dried flower arrangements. The flower has a wonderful smell that makes it a great additive to potpourris.
Sources: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Wikipedia, Personal Experience