Clarkia is a genus within the flowering plant family Onagraceae. Over 40 species are currently classified in Clarkia; almost all are native to western North America, though one species (Clarkia tenella) is native to South America.

Clarkia amoena (Farewell to Spring)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Subfamily: Onagroideae
Tribe: Onagreae
Genus: Clarkia
Pursh (1813)
Type species
Clarkia pulchella

over 40, see text

  • Eucharidium Fisch. & C.A.Mey. (1836)
  • Gauropsis C.Presl (1851)
  • Godetia Spach (1835)
  • Heterogaura Rothr. (1864)
  • Oenotheridium Reiche (1898)
  • Opsianthes Lilja (1840)
  • Phaeostoma Spach (1835)

Clarkias are typically annual herbs, growing either prostrate or erect to a height of less than 2 metres. Their leaves are small and simple, from 1 to 10 cm in length depending on the species. Their flowers have four sepals and four petals, usually white, pink, or red, and are often spotted or streaked. Their fruit are elongated, cylindrical pods, usually 4-grooved or 8-grooved, and when mature they hold many tiny, cubical seeds.[2]

Several members of the genus are sometimes referred to by the common name "godetia", including Clarkia amoena, Clarkia affinis, and Clarkia lassenensis (the Lassen godetia). This is because they were formerly classified in a genus called Godetia, which is no longer recognised since its members have been absorbed into the genus Clarkia. Older sources may still use Godetia as a genus name.

The genus was named in honour of the explorer Captain William Clark. Unofficially, the genus is sometimes referred to as Yorkia, in honor of York, an African-American member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.[3]

The Royal Navy had a warship called HMS Clarkia, a Flower-class corvette.

Cultivation edit

Some species are popular garden plants, for example the mountain garland, Clarkia unguiculata, the redspot clarkia, Clarkia speciosa, Farewell to Spring, Clarkia amoena and Clarkia bottae. There are cultivated varieties of some of these species.

Ecology edit

Clarkia species play important roles in their local ecosystems, as they provide habitat for native pollinators. Some pollinators even rely on Clarkia exclusively, such as the "Clarkia bee".[4] They are also used as host plants by some species as caterpillars, such as Sphingidae moths.[5]

Species edit

As of August 2023, Plants of the World Online accepted the following species:[6]

Image Scientific name Distribution
Clarkia affinis F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis California
  Clarkia amoena (Lehm.) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. British Columbia south to the San Francisco Bay Area.
  Clarkia arcuata (Kellogg) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. California
Clarkia australis E.Small California
  Clarkia biloba (Durand) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. Sierra Nevada foothills
Clarkia borealis E.Small southern Klamath Range and the southernmost Cascade Range foothills.
  Clarkia bottae (Spach) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis southern California
  Clarkia breweri (A.Gray) Greene California
  Clarkia concinna (Fisch. & C.A.Mey.) Greene California
  Clarkia cylindrica (Jeps.) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis southern California Coast Ranges, western Transverse Ranges, and southern Sierra Nevada foothills.
  Clarkia davyi (Jeps.) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis California
  Clarkia delicata (Abrams) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. northern Baja California and adjacent San Diego County, California
  Clarkia dudleyana (Abrams) J.F.Macbr. Transverse Ranges and the southern Sierra Nevada foothills.
  Clarkia epilobioides (Nutt.) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. California, Arizona, and Baja California
  Clarkia exilis F.H.Lewis & Vasek western North America.
  Clarkia franciscana F.H.Lewis & P.H.Raven San Francisco Bay Area
  Clarkia gracilis (Piper) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. California, Oregon, and Washington
  Clarkia heterandra (Torr.) F.H.Lewis & P.H.Raven California
  Clarkia imbricata F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis Sonoma County, California
  Clarkia jolonensis Parn. Monterey County, California
Clarkia lassenensis (Eastw.) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis California, Oregon, and Nevada
Clarkia lewisii P.H.Raven & D.R.Parn. mountains of Monterey and San Benito Counties
Clarkia lingulata F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis Mariposa County, California
  Clarkia mildrediae (A.Heller) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis southernmost Cascade Range and northern Sierra Nevada.
  Clarkia modesta Jeps. North and Central Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada foothills.
  Clarkia mosquinii E.Small northern Sierra Nevada foothills at the border between Butte and Plumas Counties.
Clarkia prostrata F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis San Luis Obispo County, California
  Clarkia pulchella Pursh Pacific Northwest mainly east of the Cascade Range in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, the southern margin of British Columbia
  Clarkia purpurea (Curtis) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. Baja California; California; Arizona; Oregon; Washington; and British Columbia.
  Clarkia rhomboidea Douglas western North America
Clarkia rostrata W.S.Davis the California oak woodlands of the Sierra Nevada foothills around the Merced River in Mariposa County.
  Clarkia rubicunda (Lindl.) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis Central Coast California
Clarkia similis F.H.Lewis & W.R.Ernst California
  Clarkia speciosa F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis California Central Coast and mountains and from the Sierra Nevada foothills.
  Clarkia springvillensis Vasek Tulare County, California
Clarkia stellata Mosquin Lake Almanor
Clarkia tembloriensis Vasek San Joaquin Valley, and into the adjacent Inner South California Coast Ranges
Clarkia tenella (Cav.) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis Chile and Argentina
  Clarkia unguiculata Lindl. California
Clarkia virgata Greene Sierra Nevada.
  Clarkia williamsonii (Durand & Hilg.) F.H.Lewis & M.E.Lewis northern and central Sierra Nevada foothills.
  Clarkia xantiana A.Gray southern Sierra Nevada and its foothills and the adjacent Transverse Ranges.

References edit

  1. ^ Clarkia Pursh. Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Onagraceae - Genus Page/ Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution". Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  3. ^ Beatrice Kilat. "Five Tips for Decolonizing Language: What's in a name?". Retrieved 2023-03-10.
  4. ^ Peach, Kristen; Mazer, Susan J. (2019). "Heteranthery in Clarkia: pollen performance of dimorphic anthers contradicts expectations". American Journal of Botany. 106 (4): 598–603. doi:10.1002/ajb2.1262. ISSN 1537-2197. PMID 30901494.
  5. ^ Miller, Timothy J.; Raguso, Robert A.; Kay, Kathleen M. (2014-01-01). "Novel adaptation to hawkmoth pollinators in Clarkia reduces efficiency, not attraction of diurnal visitors". Annals of Botany. 113 (2): 317–329. doi:10.1093/aob/mct237. ISSN 0305-7364. PMC 3890391.
  6. ^ "Clarkia Pursh". Plants of the World Online. 2017-08-19. Retrieved 2023-08-20.

External links edit