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Downingia bella
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Hoover's Downingia
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Downingia bella
  

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About Hoover's Downingia (Downingia bella) Downingia bella, also known as Hoover's calicoflower or Hoover's Downingia, is a member of the Bellflower Family (Campanulaceae). The genus is named after A. J. Downing (1815-1852) a noted American horticulturist and landscape architect. This native annual herb is endemic to California and found in valley grassland communities. Its habitat is wetlands, generally vernal pools between 4600 and 5250 feet (1400 to 1600m). As approximately 90% of vernal pools in California have been lost, D. bella is uncommon. The range of D. bella is scattered from locations in Riverside County to areas in the Great Central Valley. Like all Downingia, the stem is decumbent to erect with leaves that are along the stem and often fall before the plant flowers. The flowers are sessile and in a spike inflorescence with individual flowers having a corolla length of 10 to 12 mm. The corolla is glabrous and has 2 distinct lips, the upper with 2 lobes and lower with 3 lobes. The upper lobes are narrowly triangular or elliptic in shape while the lower lobes are obtuse and abruptly toothed. The corolla is blue with the lower lip having a central white field which then has two yellow spots (can be joined) in its middle. At the throat D. bella has 2 raised nipples that generally have 3 alternating purple spots. The 5 fused stamens have anthers that are included in the corolla tube and are angled less than 45 degrees to filaments. The inferior ovary is pedicel-like and is 2 chambered. The fruits of D. bella are between 16 to 18 mm with tough lateral walls that are tardily dehiscent despite no noticeable translucent lines. The seeds within the fruit are longitudinally striate. Some areas in northern Sutter County have D. bella with a minute corolla horn similar to D. ornatissima. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Downingia bella.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Flower Color
Blue, Purple, White, Yellow

Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
7' - 5647'

Annual Precip. ?
8.0" - 54.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.16" - 0.84"

Coldest Month ?
39.3° F - 53.3° F

Hottest Month ?
62.4° F - 77.5° F

Humidity ?
1.07 vpd - 24.29 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Hoover's Calicoflower


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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