Farewell to Spring (Clarkia amoena)
Often seen growing amid browning grasses from drying soil, this lovely flower gets its common name from the fact that it appears as many spring blooms are dying back, often carpeting full hillsides.
The spot on each petal is the key distinction from the solid colored Clarkia purpurea.
If you’re not one for goodbyes, you may choose to call it “Herald-of-Summer”, another name to which it is sometimes referred. We don’t run into these as often as we’d like, probably because by the mid-summer days these are finally in bloom, we are hiking at higher elevations. Clarkias–we’ve posted three others: purpurea, rhomboidea, and pulchella-are named after William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, although some books say the genus is Godetia.
Amoena means “charming”, which is certainly apt.
Hamilton Mountain Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 7/2014.