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Purple Clarkia
Clarkia purpurea
About Purple Clarkia (Clarkia purpurea) Nurseries Show All Photos Clarkia purpurea is a species of wildflower in the Onagraceae (Evening Primrose) family known by the common names Winecup Clarkia, Winecup Fairyfan, and Purple Clarkia. This plant is native to western North America where it is found in a variety of habitats. Within California it is very widespread, occurring all along the coast, in the Coast Ranges, Central Valley and Sierra foothills. There are three subspecies with differences in the flower color and with overlapping ranges. This plant erects a thin reddish stem which may approach a meter in height and has a few lance-shaped leaves. The bowl-shaped flowers have four petals usually one to two centimeters long and in shades of pink, purple, or deep wine red, often with a streak or spot of pink or red in the middle. In the garden it is almost always grown from seed and is included in many commercially available wildflower seed mixes.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
3.3 ft (1 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)

Flower Color
Lavender, Pink, Purple, Red

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open, grassy or shrubby places


Elevation ?
-3814' - 7897'

Annual Precip. ?
5.9" - 133.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 3.85"

Coldest Month ?
29.9° F - 57.7° F

Hottest Month ?
55.4° F - 83.7° F

Humidity ?
0.02 vpd - 33.99 vpd

Soil Description

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.5

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Companion Plants
Use with other annuals or perennial herbs such as California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Lupine (Lupinus sp.), and Tidy Tips (Layia platyglossa).

Wildlife Attracted
Primarily insects

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Very Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
From seed

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Winecup Clarkia, Winecup Fairyfan

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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