Clarkia unguiculata Lindley

Elegant Clarkia
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Elegant clarkia is a stout erect, glabrous and glaucous annual, growing 3-4' tall with helically alternate upper cauline leaves, toothed, linear to linear-lanceolate and on short stems, with the lowest cauline leaves being opposite.  The showy flowers are solitary in the leaf axils, nodding in bud.  The four green to dark red sepals are covered with soft spreading hairs, united and turned to one side, and the four bright pink to purple, sometimes white, petals are almost diamond shaped or triangular and narrow to a stalk-like claw, hence the name unguiculata.  There are eight stamens with four red-orange anthers and four cream-colored ones, and a stigma that protrudes beyond the anthers. The eight-ribbed capsules are hairy, nearly sessile and about an inch long, usually short-beaked.  Elegant clarkia is a common woodland plant and is often found on open slopes and shaded places below 5000' in chaparral, valley grassland and coastal strand from San Diego Co. to northern California.  It blooms from May to June.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Clarkia 2) unguiculata.
Pronunciation: KLAR-kee-a un-gwik-yoo-LAY-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.