Tag Archives: Elegant Clarkia




Amid the empty
heads of wild oats, Clarkia
paints hillsides purple—

long-stemmed families
reseeding new ground, waiting
for late rains in May.






Not ready long, they reach
for attention, beg to be seen
within the tall dry grass:

pink pulses clinging to the stem
like winged fairies resting might
if you let yourself believe.






Unfolding into space, hills
from peaks to plains unending
time beyond and past

the horizons of this moment
resting among the eroded
where I am near-nothing,

these specks of rock
spread out before me
like petals opening—

my nakedness
laid bare
as part of the landscape.



WPC(2) — “Serenity”


Elegant Clarkia—Clarkia unguiculata



Also known as Mountain Garland, Clarkia unguiculata is endemic to California, and in tribute to William Clark of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, one of many species that bears his name. Judging by its widespread distribution on the ranch this spring where I’ve never seen it before, I am assuming that it enjoys these dry times. Usually found on partially shaded road cuts, in soil that was disturbed years ago, it blooms on long stems 3-4′ feet high, generally in groups or colonies of a dozen plants or more. On a year where the diversity of wildflowers and the size of their blooms has been severely impacted, it’s good to see them flourishing. A wildflower that is easily overlooked until closer inspection.