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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Clarkia unguiculata (Elegant clarkia)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Clarkia unguiculata

Clarkia unguiculata Lindl.

Elegant Clarkia, Elegant Fairyfan, Mountain Garland

Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Synonym(s): Clarkia elegans


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A much-branched, 1 1/2-3 ft. annual with erect, reddish stems. Purple, rose, or whitish, 4-petaled flowers occur in small clusters. A slender plant with a few lanceolate leaves and buds nodding along an erect raceme of a few pink flowers.

The long, slender petal stalks help distinguish this from several similar species in the West, most limited to California.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


Native Distribution: CA Coast Ranges from Mendocino & Lake Cos., s. to n. San Diego Co.; also Sierran foothills from Butte to Kern Cos.
Native Habitat: Dry, open or shaded slopes below 5000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry soils.
Conditions Comments: Do not thin seedlings as crowding encourages blooming. Able to out-compete weedy grasses.


Use Food: Indigenous Californians sowed Clarkia species and harvested the seeds to grind for food.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Sow seeds after last frost in cold-winter zones. Where winters are milder, sow seeds late summer through fall.
Seed Treatment: Seed treatment is not necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Clarkia unguiculata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Clarkia unguiculata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Clarkia unguiculata


Record Modified: 2023-02-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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