Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Heterocodon rariflorus
western pearlflower

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

Habitat: Moist, open places in the foothills and valleys to moderate elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Lax, very slender annual, the stem 0.5-3 dm. tall, simple or sparingly branched; herbage glabrous, but often with stiff, pungent hairs on the angles of the stem and the leaf margins.


Leaves alternate, distant, somewhat clasping, rotund-ovate, sharply toothed, up to 1 cm. long.


Flowers few, sub-sessile in an elongate, false spike, opposite the bract; calyx 5-parted to the base, the lobes foliaceous, veiny, ovate, 2-4 mm. long; corolla with 5 lobes shorter than the tube, 3-6 mm. long, blue; upper flowers normal, the lower abortive; ovary inferior, 3-celled; stigma 3-lobed.


Capsule short and broad.

Accepted Name:
Heterocodon rariflorus Nutt.
Publication: Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc. ser. 2, 8: 255. 1842.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Heterocodon rariflorum Nutt., orthographic variant [HC]
Specularia rariflora (Nutt.) McVaugh
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Heterocodon rariflorus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Heterocodon rariflorus checklist entry

OregonFlora: Heterocodon rariflorus information

E-Flora BC: Heterocodon rariflorus atlas page

CalPhotos: Heterocodon rariflorus photos

20 photographs:
Group by