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Clarkia amoena (Farewell to spring)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Clarkia amoena

Clarkia amoena (Lehm.) A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.

Farewell To Spring, Farewell-to-spring, Herald-of-summer

Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)


USDA Symbol: clam

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (NI)

An open plant with showy, pink, cup-shaped flowers in a loose inflorescence. Farewell-to-spring is an erect or sprawling annual with showy, 4-petaled, cup-shaped, pink flowers occuring in the axils of several of the uppermost leaves. The large flowers are highlighted with a splash of bright red on each petal. Below the flowers are four reddish sepals which often remain attached after the flower buds have opened. The leaves of this 1-3+ ft. Clarkia are narrow.

As the lush grass watered by spring rains begins to turn gold in the dry heat of summer, Farewell-to-spring begins to flower. The flowers close at night, and reopen in the morning. The genus name honors Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Northwest in 1806. There are about 30 species, most in California, some very rare.


From the Image Gallery

7 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Stems erect to decumbent, up to about 6 feet long, often much shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: Coastal areas from B.C. to c. CA
Native Habitat: Coastal slopes & bluffs

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Nutrient-poor, sandy loams.
Conditions Comments: Soil should be moist until flowering starts, then it can be quite dry. Seed strains vary in color and habit; some are low and spreading, others tall and erect. Pinch out the central leader to encourage branching and heavy bloom. Do not thin seedlings as crowding encourages blooming.


Use Food: Indigenous Californians sowed Clarkia species and gathered 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. Germination is easy and it usually takes less than 90 days from seed to flowering plant.
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 amoena in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Clarkia amoena in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Clarkia amoena


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

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