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Common Meadowfoam
Limnanthes douglasii

About Common Meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii) Limnanthes douglasii is a species of flowering plant in the meadowfoam family commonly known as poached egg plant and Douglas' meadowfoam. It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows in wet, grassy habitat, such as vernal pools and spring meadows. It can grow in poorly drained clay soils. The plant was collected by the Scottish explorer and botanist David Douglas, who worked on the west coast of America in the 1820s. The plant usually bears white flowers with yellow centers, hence the name "poached egg plant", but flower color can vary across subspecies. It is a popular ornamental plant. It attracts hoverflies to the garden to beat the aphids and is well loved by bees. It is self-seeding, and gardeners are often careful as to where the seeds fall as it will quite happily grow in a lawn.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
1.6 ft (0.49 m)

Max. Width
6 in (15cm)


Leaves are alternate and singular or doubly compound. They and deeply pinnately lobed and lack stipules.

Flower Color
Cream, Yellow, White

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Wet meadows, edges of vernal pools, seasonal streams

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
7' - 5465'

Annual Precip. ?
11.0" - 86.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.16" - 2.96"

Coldest Month ?
36.3° F - 50.7° F

Hottest Month ?
58.2° F - 77.5° F

Humidity ?
0.08 vpd - 26.16 vpd

Soil Description
Must have poorly drained clay soil

Soil Texture
Clay, Loam, Sand


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Companion Plants
Include with other moisture-loving plants that can also tolerate sun such as Stream Orchid, Creek Dogwood, and Twinberry.

Wildlife Attracted
Native bees and butterflies.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
Keep moist
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Cut back after flowering

Pest Control
This flower attracts pest predators such as hoverflies and ladybugs, thereby reducing pest problems in your garden!

Propagation ?
Collect seeds by allow pods to dry on plant and then break open to collect seeds. Sow seeds spring or autumn and protect autumn sowings from frost. Will also reseed on its own.

Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Common Meadow-foam, Douglas' Meadowfoam, Poached Egg Plant

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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