Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lewis' clarkia ~ 07/14/11 ~ Garland Ranch

I almost didn't post this flower thinking it was the same speckled clarkia (C. cylindrica) I saw at Pinnacles last month. Nope. It's different. I guess. I looked at plant lists from both locations and each species is not found at the other location.

I found very little information or pictures online of C. lewisii. It's an uncommon plant in CA, but according to the new Wildflowers of Garland Ranch - a field guide by Michael Mitchell and Rod M. Yeager, it's abundant here, which I found to be true. While CalPhotos and Flickr's Califlora make no mention of Lewis' clarkia, used to rank it as the same species as punch bowl godetia (Clarkia bottae), but Jepson still treats the two as different species with slightly different ranges (click here and here for more information). Confused? Yep, me, too.

In any case, I took numerous pictures of this flower to document the variety I saw. Some had speckles, some did not, some had "normal" looking stigmas, and some had fuzzy white little crosses. Can anyone explain the fuzzy white little crosses to me? Are they stigmas? And, I took the last close-up picture to remind me why they're related to elegant clarkia (C. unguiculata). For another picture of how white the center can get, check out my Flickr post.

ps 08/26/11 - Thanks to a little mention on Wayne's Word discovered the little white crosses are stigmas next to withered anthers. It has something to do with protandry and favoring cross-pollination between different plants. I'll still need to look into this.

pss 03/04/14 - Was talking about these with a nature friend, who hadn't heard of Lewis' clarkia.  From a CNPS trip last year, I remembered our leader said C. lewisii buds dangle over like a pendant, whereas C. bottae buds are straighter.  I believe the step-back shot above actually includes both spp. of clarkia.  I switched out the original first 2 photos with Lewis' and may add a second post for punch bowl godetia.


Imperfect and tense said...

Whatever it is, it's a bonny wee flower!

Erica Lea said...

Delicate little beauties! Maybe the species cross-pollinate? You think you're confused - I feel like I'm starting all over with the learning thing here. I'm seeing so many new flowers, and having to find id sources for this area. I don't want to post things unless I know what they are, but dang, it can be a challenge!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Graeme, your British words (and puns) make me laugh.

Erica, I feel for you. I gave away 2 bookcases of ID books when I moved from OH and I've been slow to invest in more books. It is starting all over when you move. Hopefully, you'll soon figure decent sources for information.