Included two species native to North America
which are hardy annuals and sometimes listed under
Four to six inches high, Downingia elegans has oblong
lance-shaped leaves, up to three-quarters of an
inch long and five-petalled flowers, about a quarter
of an inch across, of light blue with white lips
marked with greenish-yellow, borne in the leaf
An inch or so taller, Downingia pulchella has similar
leaves, up to an inch long and flowers of deep
blue with a white centre on the lower lip, splashed
with white and purple.
The stockiness of these annuals commends them
for the rock garden, where they have a long season
of flowering when many alpines have passed their
They are also eminently suitable for the front
of the flower border.
Seed should be sown thinly in April where the
plants are to bloom and the seedlings thinned
six inches apart in June. Full sun and well-drained
soil are essential.
Propagation is from seed.
The flowering season is from midsummer until frost.