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Red Spotted Clarkia Back to Plant Page
Clarkia speciosa

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About Red Spotted Clarkia (Clarkia speciosa) Clarkia speciosa is a species of flowering plant in the Onagraceae (Evening Primrose) family known by the common name Red Spotted Clarkia. It is endemic to California, where it is known from the Central Coast and mountains and from the Sierra Nevada foothills. The plant is variable across its intergrading subspecies, taking a decumbent to erect form with a stem up to about half a meter long. The open or dense flower cluster has opening flowers and several closed buds. As the bud opens the sepals all separate from each other. The fan-shaped petals are up to 2.5 centimeters long and may be lavender to pink to deep red, sometimes fading to white or yellowish at the base. There is sometimes, but not always, a large bright red spot near the middle of the petal. There are four subspecies of this plant. One, ssp. immaculata (also sometimes called var. immaculata), is known as the Pismo clarkia and is federally listed as an endangered species. It is known from about 20 occurrences on the coastline of San Luis Obispo County near Pismo Beach. This subspecies takes a decumbent form and the petals lack the red spot.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
2 ft (0.6 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)

Flower Color
Pink, Red, Lavender

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
sandy hills and canyons with chaparral or woodlands up to 6,000 ft. elevation

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
23' - 7096'

Annual Precip. ?
10.3" - 50.3"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.53"

Coldest Month ?
33.7° F - 52.4° F

Hottest Month ?
60.0° F - 78.5° F

Humidity ?
0.47 vpd - 25.92 vpd

Soil Description

Fast, Medium, Slow

Companion Plants
Use with other annuals or herbaceous perennials such as Snapdragon (Antirrhinum sp.), Sitka Columbine (Aquilegia formosa), Milkweed (Asclepias sp.), Chinese Houses (Collinsia heterophylla), Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), Poppy (Eschscholzia sp.), Blue Field Gilia (Gilia capitata); with geophytes such as onion (Allium sp.), Mariposa Lily (Calochortus sp.); and with small succulents such as Dudleya sp.

Wildlife Attracted
Flowers in the Clarkia genus attract many insects including bees and butterflies such as the Small Apollo butterfly.

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Common Names
Redspot Clarkia

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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