Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei (Raiche’s red- ribbons clarkia)

by Doreen Smith

Raiche’s red-ribbons clarkia (Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei) is one of the few annual Marin endemic species. The common subspecies, Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna, is not usually all that common in Marin, but it can still easily be seen later in April along the eastern parts of Lucas Valley Rd. The pink flowers of the plant sometimes appear in masses on steep, shady banks. Every year I hope the mowing blades of roadside maintenance equipment won’t cut them before they set seed.

The rare subspecies was discovered years ago by Roger Raiche and grows only near Tomales, where it blooms in small numbers in early April. Flowers differ from ssp. concinna in that they are self-pollinated rather than cross-pollinated, have shorter petals, and the calyx segments remain partly united below the petals, that is they do not split into the otherwise species-characteristic “red ribbons.”

Text by Doreen Smith.
Photos by Vernon Smith.

Photo by Vernon Smith

Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei – (Raiche’s red- ribbons)

 

Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei – (Raiche’s red- ribbons)

 

Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna – (red ribbons clarkia)

 

Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna – (red ribbons clarkia)