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Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OnagraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb (to tree). Leaf: cauline or basal, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally simple and toothed (to pinnately compound); stipules 0 or generally deciduous. Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1 in axils; bracted. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, often opening at either dawn or dusk; hypanthium generally prolonged beyond ovary (measured from ovary tip to sepal base); sepals 4(2--7); petals 4(2--7, rarely 0), often fading darker; stamens 2 × or = sepals in number, anthers 2-chambered, opening lengthwise, pollen interconnected by threads; ovary inferior, chambers generally as many as sepals (sometimes becoming 1), placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma 4-lobed (or lobes as many as sepals), club-shaped, spheric, or hemispheric. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal (sometimes berry or indehiscent and nut-like). Seed: sometimes winged or hair-tufted.
Genera In Family: 22 genera, +- 657 species: worldwide, especially western North America; many cultivated (Clarkia, Epilobium, Fuchsia, Oenothera). Note: Gaura moved to Oenothera. Fuchsia magellanica Lam. naturalized in northern California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Warren L. Wagner & Peter C. Hoch, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Warren L. Wagner, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ClarkiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual < 1.5 m. Stem: prostrate to erect, glabrous, often glaucous, or puberulent (hairs long, spreading). Leaf: pinnately veined; petiole < 4 cm or 0; blade 1--10 cm, linear to elliptic or ovate, entire or shallow-toothed, glabrous or sparsely puberulent. Inflorescence: spike, raceme; bracts leaf-like; axis in bud straight or recurved at tip, in flower +- straight; buds erect or not. Flower: hypanthium obconic to cup-shaped, or long, slender, generally with ring of hairs within; sepals 4, generally fused to tip in bud, reflexed at least at base, staying fused at least at tip, in 4s or 2s, or all coming free; corolla bowl-shaped to rotate, petals 5--60 mm, often lobed or clawed, lavender or pink to dark red, pale yellow, or white, often spotted, flecked, or streaked with red, purple, or white; stamens 8, in 2 like or unlike series, or 4, filaments cylindric to wider distally, subtended by ciliate scales or generally not, anthers attached at base, pollen white or yellow to blue-gray, lavender, or +- red; ovary 4-chambered, glabrous or not, cylindric, fusiform, or wider distally, generally shallowly to deeply 4- or 8-grooved, stigma lobes 4, generally prominent. Fruit: generally capsule, elongate (short, indehiscent, nut-like). Seed: generally many, rarely 1--2, 0.5--2 mm, angled, crested or not, brown, gray, or mottled.
Species In Genus: +- 41 species: western North America, 1 South America. Etymology: (Captain William Clark, 1770--1838, of Lewis & Clark Expedition) Note: Self-fertile; self-pollinated or outcrossed; on herbarium specimens, curvature of inflorescence axis in bud generally reliable, pollen color generally not.
eFlora Treatment Author: Harlan Lewis
Species: Clarkia purpureaView Description 

Stem: decumbent to erect, < 1 m, glabrous, to densely puberulent (some hairs longer), glaucous or not. Leaf: petiole 0--2 mm; blade 1.5--7 cm, linear or narrowly oblanceolate to elliptic or ovate. Inflorescence: axis in bud straight; buds erect. Flower: hypanthium 2--10 mm, not conspicuously veined; sepals staying fused in 2s or all coming free; corolla bowl-shaped, petals fan-shaped, obovate or elliptic, lavender or pale pink to purple or dark wine-red, often with red or purple spot near middle or proximally or distally; stamens 8, anthers alike; ovary 8-grooved, length < 8 × width. Fruit: 1--3 cm; beak 0--2 mm. Chromosomes: n=26.
Note: Subspecies intergrade extensively. Other subspecies to Washington, Arizona, Baja California.

Clarkia purpurea (Curtis) A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr. subsp. purpurea
Leaf: 1.5--4.5 cm, broadly lanceolate to elliptic or ovate, glabrous to sparsely puberulent. Inflorescence: dense. Flower: petals 10--25 mm, lavender to purple or purple-red, often lighter proximally, often with a darker spot distally; stigma exserted beyond anthers; ovary > distal internode.
Ecology: Uncommon. Grassland; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: GV, CCo; Distribution Outside California: Oregon. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
eFlora Treatment Author: Harlan Lewis
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botanical illustration including Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea


Citation for this treatment: Harlan Lewis 2017. Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 16, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 16, 2017.

Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea
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© 2017 Dylan Neubauer
Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea
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© 2013 Vernon Smith
Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea
click for enlargement
© 2007 Neal Kramer
Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea
click for enlargement
© 2011 Dylan Neubauer
Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea
click for enlargement
© 2011 Dylan Neubauer

More photos of Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Clarkia purpurea subsp. purpurea:
GV, CCo;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.