Brown-eyed Evening Primrose

Chylismia claviformis
(Camissonia claviformis)

Chylismia claviformis photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed south of Aguila, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 19 March 2017.

ANNUAL: In the Sonoran Desert this plant develops a basal rosette of leaves in early spring after adequate rains, then shoots up one or more flowering stalks.

FLOWERS: Panicles of nodding flower buds. The buds open late in day to reveal a four-petaled, white to yellow corolla, 8 stamens and a four-branched style. By mid morning at latest the flowers close up. A hypanthium at center of flower is reddish-brown. The yellow flowered specimen at right was photographed at Puerto Peñ, Sonora, Mexico. March 2012.

Camissonia claviformis, yellow flowers seen at Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, photo © by Michael Plagens

LEAVES: The largest leaves are at ground level, are pinnately divided/lobed and are often reddish, esp. beneath. Leaves higher on stems are much reduced in size.

RANGE: Fairly common throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico along washes, in deep sandy soils and on rocky slopes. Absent during drought years. Several named subspecies and varieties.

FRUIT: Pod-like, erect fruit develops below the flower, i.e. an inferior ovary. Capsules have four chambers with two rows of seeds in each.


Onagraceae -- Evening Primrose Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 11 July 2008,
updated 17 April 2017.