Elegant Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata) is a showy, if somewhat bizarre looking, flower that blooms late in the Spring. It is also known by the common name woodland Clarkia. It adds a refreshing dash of color to the hills of Southern California, as they turn from green to golden brown. The plant appears to be an excellent indicator of Spring rainfall. In a drought year it might only be a foot tall, but in a rain season with a wet Spring, some stalks may reach 6 or 7 ft.
This photograph was taken near Laskey Mesa, on a run in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (formerly Ahmanson Ranch).
Related post: Rain Gauge