It is surprising that this sturdy, drought-tolerant beautiful wildflower isn't grown more. 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 about 8” to 1' tall.
It is a great 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)., shown in our meadowfoam movie. 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.