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Great Basin Downingia Back to Plant Page
Downingia laeta

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About Great Basin Downingia (Downingia laeta) Downingia laeta is a species of flowering plant in the bellflower family known by the common name Great Basin calicoflower. This showy wildflower is native to western North America from California to Saskatchewan, where it is a resident of riverbanks, ponds, and vernal pool ecosystems. This annual grows on a thick erect stem with a few short, pointed leaves. Atop the stem is usually a single flower, which has an upper lip made up of two narrow, pointed lobes in shades of very light blue or purple, or white, and a lower lip which is a fusion of three lobes in the same color with two bright yellow spots and sometimes some purple or pink blotches or streaking.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
9.6 in (24.4 cm)


Growth Rate

Flower Color
White, Blue

Flowering Season

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
4003' - 5962'

Annual Precip. ?
7.0" - 20.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.54" - 1.33"

Coldest Month ?
28.8° F - 36.0° F

Hottest Month ?
57.0° F - 65.7° F

Humidity ?
1.00 vpd - 20.90 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers loamy or clay soils. Grows poorly in sandy soils.

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Great Basin 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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