Frankly, My Dear…

Little, pinkish-purple tea cups brighten shady areas.

Clarkia cylindrica ssp. clavicarpa

One of the many wildflowers found in shady areas around Three Rivers, notably on road cuts on north and east facing slopes, is Speckled Clarkia, Clarkia cylindrica. There are several subspecies of this plant found in Tulare County but the one blooming here in profusion is Clarkia cylindrica ssp. clavicarpa.

Clarkia is in the Evening Primrose family, Onagraceae, which includes several common garden-variety plants such as Fuchsia and Gaura. The flowers of these plants typically have four petals. The Clarkia genus derives its name from William Clark who explored western North America with Meriwether Lewis on their well-known expedition. There is also a genus of native western plant, Lewisia, named for Lewis.

The Calflora entry for this subspecies of Speckled Clarkia is at https://www.calflora.org/app/taxon?crn=2180

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