A handsome plant, with nearly smooth, slender, reddish stems, a few inches to two feet tall, and smooth, pale-green, toothless, narrow leaves, mostly without leaf-stalks. The buds are erect and the flowers form a long, loose cluster, with bright purplish-pink petals, half an inch to over an inch long, with a large, magenta blotch near the center, or at the tip, and yellowish at base; the stamens and pistil all purple; the calyx-lobes not caught together, but turned primly back. This forms fine patches of bright color in rather meadowy places in Yosemite and elsewhere in the Sierra Nevada foothills. G. Dudleyana is pretty and slender, with drooping buds and light lilac-pink flowers, the petals paler at base, with darker dots, the calyx-lobes caught together and turned to one side, and also makes beautiful patches of color on sunny slopes around Yosemite.
There are several kinds of Clarkia, resembling Godetia, but the petals have claws. The stems are brittle; the leaves mostly alternate, with short, slender leaf-stalks; the buds nodding; the flowers in terminal clusters, with four petals, never yellow, and four sepals, turned back; the stamens eight, those opposite the petals often rudimentary; the stigma four-lobed; the capsule long, leathery, erect, more or less four-angled, with many seeds. Named in honor of Captain Clarke, of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, the first to cross the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, in 1806.