Widow’s Tears

Tinantia anomala

False Dayflower

About This Plant

Winter annual that grows well in shady areas. Grass-like sprouts emerge in late October or November that develop into surprisingly dense clumps. In the spring stems adorned with lavender flowers replace the grass-like leaves. The whole plant disappears by the time summer arrives. It will readily reseed if allowed to do so. Widow’s tears are a common sight under leafless deciduous trees in city parks and homeowners’ landscapes. The flowers are visited by bumblebees and the seeds are eaten by birds. You probably won’t be able to find it at a nursery, so preserve this interesting annual if you are lucky enough to have some on-site.

Origins: Northern Mexico and Texas


Little maintenance is required beyond allowing the widow’s tears the space to complete its life cycle.

A clumping spring annual with clown-like flower faces.

Min. Height: 1'

Max Height: 2 feet'

Min. Width: 1'

Max Width: 2 feet'

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