General: Annual herb from a stout or slender taproot; stems spreading to erect, 10-100 cm tall, simple to freely branched, minutely hairy.
Leaves: Alternate, linear to narrowly lanceolate, 2-7 cm long, mostly 2-6 mm wide; unstalked or stalks less than 3 mm long.
Flowers: Inflorescence dense, axis straight when in bud, buds usually erect; hypanthium 2-10 mm long; corollas bowl-shaped, tending to close at night; petals pink to rose-purple, red-spotted or -marked near centre, egg- to fan-shaped, not clawed, 1-4 cm long; sepals usually joined and turned to one side, sometimes partially free; stamens 8, anthers glabrous or slightly hairy, all alike; stigmas 1-6 mm long, linear to oval, yellow; styles usually exceeding stamens.
Fruits: Capsules, linear to somewhat club-shaped, (1) 1.5-4.5 cm long, straight to curved, beakless or with a beak several mm long, 4-grooved when young, later cylindric and 8-ribbed.
Notes: Two sympatric varieties occur in BC:
1. Stigmatic lobes oval, usually not over 2 mm long; petals usually less than 2 cm long................ var. caurina (Abrams) C.L. Hitchc.
1. Stigmatic lobes linear, usually over 2 mm long; petals usually greater than 2 cm long............... var. lindleyi (Dougl.) C.L. Hitchc.
1. Petals not narrowing to a claw at the base; flowers regular, closing at night.
2. Sepals usually joined and turned to one side; ovaries and immature fruits 4-grooved; stigmas 1-6 mm long........................C. amoena
2. Sepals staying fused in 2's or coming free, not turned to one side; ovaries and immature fruits 8-grooved, stigmas about 1.5 mm long...................C. purpurea
1. Petals with a distinct, narrow claw at the base; flowers slightly irregular, not closing at night.
3. Petals 3-lobed; fertile stamens 4; leaves often alternate........................C. pulchella
3. Petals not 3-lobed; fertile stamens 8; leaves opposite........................C. rhomboidea
Habitat / Range
Dry grassy areas in the lowland zone; infrequent on S Vancouver Island and the adjacent Gulf Islands; S to CA.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2023-02-08 9:30:12 AM
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