Camissonia lewisii Raven
Onagraceae (Evening-Primrose Family)
Lewis' Evening Primrose
Annual, simple or several-stemmed, erect or prostrate, hairy, 0.5-5 dm. long,
leafy throughout, the stems with readily exfoliating epidermis, in infl.
glandular; basal lvs. forming a loose rosette, linear-lanceolate to
oblanceolate, subentire, 1-8 cm. long, subsessile; cauline lvs. shorter,
sessile, denticulate, crisped; fls. small; petals yellow with 1-2 red dots at
bases, lasting less than one day, often drying green or reddish, 2-4 mm. long;
sepals 1.7-3.5 mm.; stamens 8, unequal; caps. curved or contorted, quadrangular,
1.2-2 cm. long, 1.8-2.2 mm. wide, gradually attenuate to apex, usually beaked;
seeds dull brownish black, obovoid, 1 mm. long, finely cellular-pitted.
Common in dry disturbed places, burns, etc., below 3000 ft.; Coastal
Strand, Coastal Sage Scrub, Chaparral, etc.; mostly near the coast from Marin
Co. to L. Calif., Channel ids. March-May.
Camissonia, named in honor of
Adelbert Ludwig von Chamisso (
1781-1838), who named the California poppy.
He was the botanist on the ship Rurik that visited California in 1816. Lewisii,
in honor of Captain Merriweather Lewis
(1774-1809). Leader with William
Clark in the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition across the continent 1804-1806.
Occasional in the study area, having been found on Shellmaker Id., the
bluffs northerly of 23rd St. and North Star beach. Photographed on Shellmaker Island. Flowers open in the A.M.
In April 1996, the Fish & Game created three sand dunes behind their
trailer and around the amphitheater. In
the fall of 1996 I seeded the dune nearest the amphitheater with several species
but not C. lewisii. In the spring of 1997 there were a large number of C.
lewisii plants on the dune, the seed having been blown in by the winds of
the winter; no other non-seeded species was as prevalent. (my comments).
About 200 spp. of Oenothera of
the New World, mostly of temp. regions. (Munz,
944). Rare. O.
micrantha misapplied. Self
pollinated. Related to C. bistorta. (Hickman,
Ed. 783). 62 species in western
North America, 1 in South America. (Hickman, Ed. 778).
Abrams Vol. III 202; Hickman, Ed. 783; Munz, Calif.
Flora 955; Munz, Flora So. Calif.
Mar-April 88 # 10A,17A,18A; Mar 03 #16.
Identity: by R. De Ruff, confirmed by F. Roberts.
Computer Ref: Plant Data 363.
Have plant specimen.
Last edit 3/17/03.