Page author: David Giblin
Downingia elegans
common downingia

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington, British Columbia to California, east to Idaho and Nevada.

Habitat: Vernal pools, wet meadows, margins of ponds.

Flowers: July-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Annual herbs from fibrous roots, the stems erect or ascending, simple or branched, 1-5 dm. tall, the herbage glabrous throughout.


Leaves alternate, sessile, the lower leaves narrow, the others lanceolate to lance-ovate, 0.5-2 cm. long and up to 9 mm. wide.


Flowers sessile and solitary in the leaf axils; calyx lobes 5, linear, 4-10 mm. long; corolla showy, blue to pink or white with a yellow-ridged white eye, 8-18 mm. long, two-lipped, the tube short, the 3-lobed lower lip large and flaring; filaments and anthers connected in tubes, the filament tube 4.5-10.5 mm. long and at right angles to the anther tube; stigma 2-lobed; ovary inferior.


Capsule 1-celled, elongate, 2-5 cm. long and 1-2 mm. thick.

Accepted Name:
Downingia elegans (Douglas ex Lindl.) Torr.
Publication: U.S. Expl. Exped. 17(2): 375. 1874.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Downingia elegans (Douglas ex Lindl.) Torr. var. brachypetala (Gand.) McVaugh [KZ99]
Downingia elegans (Douglas ex Lindl.) Torr. var. corymbosa (A. DC.) A. Gray
Downingia elegans (Douglas ex Lindl.) Torr. var. elegans [KZ99]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Downingia elegans in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Downingia elegans checklist entry

OregonFlora: Downingia elegans information

E-Flora BC: Downingia elegans atlas page

CalPhotos: Downingia elegans photos

29 photographs:
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