Elkhorns Clarkia (Clarkia pulchella)
After seeing these beauties in books (the latin Pulchella means beautiful), we’d long dreamed of finding them in the wild. A previous trip to the Badger Creek Wilderness, the furthest western reach of its range, was not fruitful (we accidentally took the wrong trail, although we did find some Lady Slipper orchids). Our perseverance was rewarded on a second trip when we found these specimens in profusion under the juniper and ponderosa trees on the steep, but uncrowded, Tygh Creek trail.
Named after William Clark (see the sweet 1814 botanical engraving of this plant on our Lewis & Clark page), but also called Ragged Robin and less commonly Pinkhorn, and Deerhorn Clarkia, all descriptive of their three lobed petals. They are rather small and slight, mostly a light shade of pink, and primarily found in the the dry sagebrush steppe east of the Cascades in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.
This is our 250th post!