Clarkia unguiculata

Clarkia unguiculata is commonly known as elegant clarkia. It is endemic to California, where it’s found in many woodland habitats, including the understory of oak woodlands here in the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s one of my favourite wildflowers, and not just because my last name is Clark 😊.

The showy flowers have hairy, fused sepals forming a cup beneath the corolla, and four petals up to 2.5 centimeters long. The paddle-like petals are pink to reddish to purple and have a slender “stalk” and diamond-shaped or triangular “tongue” (sorry, are there more correct names for parts of a petal?). There are eight long stamens, the outer four of which have large red anthers. The white stigma protrudes from the flower and can be quite large.

The above paragraph does nothing to convey how pretty this plant is! It really is very elegant.

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