Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Downingia pulchella Torr.

Hardy annual with alternate lance-shaped leaves and blue and white flowers, the throat marked with green or yellow.  To 15cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1831.  [JD].  ‘I figure this little plant more for the sake of recording its existence, than from any expectation that it will ever become an object of horticultural interest; for since C. elegans, a far hardier and more cultivable plant, has disappeared, there can be little hope that this, beautiful as it is, will be preserved.  It only exists at present in the garden of the Horticultural Society, where it was sent from California by Mr. Douglas.  It is there treated as a tender annual, and every year a small number of tiny plants, not at all bigger than those now represented, have been raised from the very few seeds ripened the previous year.  It has usually grown in a flower-pot.’  [BR f.1909/1836].

‘A very elegant little annual, a native of marshy places, river banks, and springs in N.W. America, from British Columbia to California; introduced by Douglas almost half a century ago, but long lost to cultivation.  It has again been introduced by our excellent contributor, Mr. Thompson, of Ipswich, who flowered it in July, 1875, and to whom I am indebted for the specimen here figured.’  [BM t.6257/1876].

History at Camden Park

Seed order to Hurst and McMullen, Seedsmen and Florists of London, on 8th April 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p.132].


Published Sep 29, 2009 - 04:48 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 10:57 AM

illustrated are lance-shaped leaves and blue and white flowers with yellow throat.  Botanical Register f.1909, 1836.

Downingia pulchella Torr. | BR f.1909/1836 as Clintonia pulchella | BHL

Family Campanulaceae
Region of origin

Western USA

  • Clintonia pulchella Lindl. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Clintonia pulchella 

Confidence level high