Clarkia amoena

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Clarkia amoena
  • Family: Onagraceae
  • Common Names: yellow clarkia, farewell to spring
  • Codon: CLAAMO

Photo by Rod Gilbert, also featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosanae
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Clarkia Pursh
Species: Clarkia amoena (Lehm.) A. Nelson & J.F. Macbr.



Herbaceous annual with alternate leaves and erect racemes with few pink to purple flowers, up to 100 cm tall.[2] Stems simple or branched,[2] decumbant to erect, puberulant.[3] Leaves entire,[4] linear to lanceolate, to 6 cm long.[3] Raceme rachis and buds erect.[5] Flowers 4-merous, regularly symmetrical; calyx 4-lobed, connate; petals 4, pink to purple, often red-spotted in center; stamens 8, of two different lengths; pistil with 4 stigmas, 1-7 mm long,[5] ovary inferior, 4-celled, becoming a linear capsule 1.5-4.5 cm long.[2]

Bloom Period



West of the Cascades, occasional from Vancouver Island south to California, where more common.[2]


Dry, low elevation open areas to forests.[2]


Miwok have gathered the seeds to grind for food.[6]


Sow seeds after last frost in cold-winter zones. Where winters are milder, sow seeds late summer through fall. Sow seeds in situ in spring or fall in vented containers in a coldframe, indoors before last frost, or direct sow after last frost. Plant plugs grown from seed. Germination is easy and it usually takes less than 90 days from seed to flowering plant. 95% germination occurs within the first two weeks after planting seed in a soil-less peat-based media, amended with micronutrients, slow-release fertilizer, and kept at 70 degree days and 50 degree nights. Prefers nutrient poor, well-drained, sandy loams. Soil should be moist until flowering starts, then it can be quite dry. Seed strains vary in color and habit; some are low and spreading, others tall and erect. Pinch out the central leader to encourage branching and heavy bloom. Do not thin seedlings as crowding encourages blooming. Full or partial sun.[7]

Native Plant Network Propagation Protocol

Clarkia amoena seeds
Photo Credit Lisa HIntz
Clarkia amoena seeds
Photo Credit Lisa HIntz


Seed Sample from 2010


Measurement average: 1.4 x 1.1 x 0.7

Measurement Range: L: 1.1 – 2, W: 0.75 – 1.1, D: 0.5 – 0.8

Latitudinal Cross Section: irregularly angular Longitudinal Cross Section: irregularly angular

Shape: Seeds angular, somewhat rhombic in shape, but very irregular. Hilum inconspicuous.

Color: Brown

Surface: Seed fuzzy, and appears scaly or pitted where fuzziness is sparse.

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.

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  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jepson Herbarium Online Flora. Retrieved from
  4. Bowcutt, F., & Hamman, S. (2016). Vascular Plants of the South Sound Prairies. p. 92.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p. 257.
  6. Native American Ethnobotany Database. Retrieved from
  7. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas Austin. Retrieved from