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Vasek's clarkia
Clarkia tembloriensis ssp. calientensis

Status

Not listed. California Native Plant Society List 1B

Life History

Vasek's clarkia has tall, erect stems with alternate, grayish-green, lance-shaped leaves. The flowers have four lavender-pink petals with narrow bases and diamond-shaped tips. The styles (part of the female reproductive system) are approximately the same length as the stamens (male reproductive organs). Each capsular fruit contains many seeds.

The seeds of this annual plant germinate in response to winter rains. Some seeds probably persist ungerminated for many years, as occurs in closely related species. Vasek's clarkia flowers in April and is self-pollinating. Although the known populations comprise several thousand individuals in favorable years, Vasek=s clarkia has extremely low genetic variability.

Vasek's clarkia grows in steep-sided canyons on grassy north- and west-facing slopes at elevations of 275-335 m. Associated species include bladderpod (Isomeris arborea), farewell-to-spring (Clarkia cylindrica), and gunsight clarkia (C. unguiculata).

Distribution

This taxon is endemic to the Caliente Hills of Kern County, which are southeast of Bakersfield. At one time, three separate colonies were known within the area of endemism, but only two remain. The reasons for the disappearance of the other colony are unknown.

Classification

Subclass ROSIDAE, Order MYRTALES, Family ONAGRACEAE, Genus Clarkia, Species tembloriensis

Subspecies

Vasek's clarkia is one of two subspecies of Clarkia tembloriensis. The other is Temblor clarkia, Clarkia tembloriensis ssp. tembloriensis.

Recent Synonyms

Clarkia calientensis

Other Common Names

None.

References

Holsinger, K.E. 1985. A phenetic study of Clarkia unguiculata Lindley (Onagraceae) and its relatives. Systematic Botany 10:155-165; Vasek, F.C. 1977. Phenotypic variation and adaptation in Clarkia Section Phaeostoma. Systematic Botany 2:251-279; Lewis, H. 1993. Clarkia. Pp.786-793 in The Jepson manual: higher plants of California (J.C. Hickman, ed.). University of California Press, Berkeley, 1400 pp.; Skinner, M.W., and B.M. Pavlik, eds. 1994. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. Fifth edition. Spec. Publ. No. 1, California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, 338 pp.; Rarefind, California Natural Diversity Data Base, Sacramento.

Size

Height:
< 80 cm
Flower:
petals 1 cm wide, 1-2.5 cm long
Fruit:
1.5-3 cm long, 3 mm wide Seed:
1 mm long

Identification

Vasek's clarkia has broader petals, shorter styles, narrower fruits, and larger seeds than Temblor clarkia. Gunsight clarkia has long hairs on the flower parts, unlike Vasek's clarkia.

Authors of Profile

E.A. Cypher

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