Clarkia purpurea

Common name: Winecup Clarkia

Winecup Clarkia (Clarkia purpurea) is another one of those little wildflowers that have probably been around all the time here, but I never really noticed them or paid much attention to them until this Spring, when they seem to be out in much larger amounts than before, thanks to our wet winter. Patches left and right along some local trails seemed to contain nothing else but Winecup Clarkia for a period of time.

There are three subspecies (ssp) known to grow in San Diego County and from the dichotomous key for the Clarkia genus I “extracted” the following differences between them… but it is much more difficult to see those differences when you see one of them in nature!

  • Clarkia purpurea ssp. purpurea: with broader leaves that have little or no hairs, and stigma higher than anthers
  • Clarkia purpurea ssp. quadrivulnera: with narrow, hairy leaves, stigma & anthers at same level
  • Clarkia purpurea ssp. viminea: with stigma higher than anthers, and a red/purple petal dot

These little flowers only really open in full sun, which is usually not the kind of light I want to photograph them in. Using a diffuser would be an obvious solution, but using one alone while making hand-held macro photos of small but tall wildflowers that sway in the wind is… a bit difficult. :P

Anyway, here are some photos. As usual, simply scroll down to see more, or if you’re on a desktop or laptop with a larger screen, click on any image to open it in the slideshow viewer.

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