Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the July 3, 2005 Newsletter issued from the Sierra Nevada foothills
somewhat east of Placerville, California, USA
The Jepson Manual's key to the genus Clarkia lists about forty species, and a lot more subspecies. Some Clarkias are common and widespread but others are narrowly endemic, found only in a very small geographic area.
The species at the right, CLARKIA BILOBA, distinguished by its "notched" petals and eight stamens, grows naturally only in certain parts of the northern and central Sierra Nevadas. However, where it does occur sometimes you see large populations that are breathtaking, especially in low-slanting morning light. The genus is named in honor of William Clark of Louis-and-Clark fame.