Clarkia is a genus of about 40 species of annuals in the family Onagraceae, mostly native to western North America.
Clarkia produces cheerful cup-shaped blooms in various shapes and colors. Its flowers typically have four sepals and four petals united at the base of the flower tube. Clarkias are easy-to-grow beauties that will bring vivid color and charm to your summer garden.
The genus was named after the famous explorer Captain William Clark (1770-1838).
Some Clarkia species including Clarkia amoena, Clarkia affinis and Clarkia lassenensis were formerly classified in the genus called Godetia, hence their common name “Godetia”. It’s also worth mentioning that Godetia was named after the Swiss botanist Charles Henri Godet (1797-1879).
Clarkia symbolizes enthusiasm and charm.
Interesting facts about Clarkia
Clarkia After the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Two genera of plants commemorate the famous duo Lewis and Clark – Lewisia and Clarkia. Clarkia honors William Clark (1770 – 1838) of the Lewis and Clark expedition, while Meriwether Lewis (1774 – 1809) is remembered with the genus Lewisia.
William Clark and Meriwether Lewis are the most famous explorers of America’s natural landscape, as well as its flora and fauna. They explored what would become the Western United States. The expedition discovered hundreds of plants new to science, although Native Americans knew all of them very well.
Clarkia Flower Structure
Each flower consists of four sepals and four petals, and can be either double or semi-double in form. In most species, the petals have spots at specific positions, which is an important ecological trait that affects pollination. The petals have spots of purple color near the center or in several positions, which serve to attract specific pollinators.
Understanding how genetic changes alter developmental processes to generate phenotypic diversity has been one of the major objectives of evolutionary developmental biology.
Benefits and Uses
Several species are grown ornamentally, especially Clarkia amoena.
Clarkia Plant Data
These flowers come in a range of colors including red, purple, pink, orange and white.
This plant can reach up to 150 cm (5 ft) tall.
Clarkia grows best in rich, moist, well drained and loamy soils, with a pH between 6.0 and 8.5.