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Camissonia scapoidea
Chylismia scapoidea subspecies scapoidea. Synonym: Camissonia scapoidea subspecies scapoidea. (Leafless Bee Blossom)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, Pinyon/Juniper woodlands, sand, rocks. Spring.
Utah near Four Corners, April 17, 2010.

These large-leaved, small-flowered Evening Primrose plants grow from just an inch to ten inches tall.  Minute flowers (petals only 2-5 millimeters long) open in the day or night.  Petals may have red spots near the base.  Where one plant is found, there are often many plants.

Chylismia scapoidea was first named Oenothera scapoidea by Torrey and Gray in 1840 from a specimen collected by the eminent botanist and Harvard teacher, Thomas Nuttall in 1834. Peter Raven reclassified a number of Oenotheras as Camissonias in 1964. In the early 2000s the name reverted to Chylismia, given in 1896 by John Small. Chylismia means "juicy" in Greek.

Camissonia scapoidea

Chylismia scapoidea subspecies scapoidea. Synonym: Camissonia scapoidea subspecies scapoidea. (Leafless Bee Blossom)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, Pinyon/Juniper woodlands, sand, rocks. Spring.
Utah near Four Corners, April 17, 2010.

Long seed pods explode and scatter seeds.

Camissonia walkeri
Chylismia walkeri subspecies walkeri. Synonym: Camissonia walkeri subspecies walkeri. (Walker's Bee Blossom)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, Pinyon/Juniper woodlands, sand, rocks. Spring.
Colorado River near Moab, May 5, 2005.

Normally Chylismia walkeri leaves are "bright gray-green... and peppered with small darker green spots" (Intermountain Flora) or "purple dotted" (Utah Flora).  Apparently the orange/pink sandstone soils impart the fabulous turquoise color.  The dots are still there:

 Camissonia walkeri

Chylismia walkeri could easily be mistaken for a Mustard (I made that mistake) but a closer look, especially at the flower, shows it to be an Evening Primrose.

The renowned Charles Parry collected this in the Virgin River valley near St. George, Utah in 1874 and Aven Nelsen named it Oenothera brevipes in 1875.  Nelsen renamed it Chylisma walkeri in 1913, it went through several other name changes, and Peter Raven, former renowned Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, renamed it Camissonia walkeri in 1964.  Ernest P. Walker collected the species in the Paradox Valley of Colorado in 1912.  (More biographical information about Walker.)

Camissonia walkeri
Chylismia walkeri subspecies walkeri. Synonym: Camissonia walkeri subspecies walkeri. (Walker's Bee Blossom)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, Pinyon/Juniper woodlands, sand, rocks. Spring.
Colorado River near Moab, May 5, 2005.

Flowers are quite small and seed pods are long, ribbed, and arching upward on short pedicels.

Camissonia walkeri
Chylismia walkeri subspecies walkeri. Synonym: Camissonia walkeri subspecies walkeri. (Walker's Bee Blossom)
Onagraceae (Evening Primrose Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, Pinyon/Juniper woodlands, sand, rocks. Spring.
Colorado River near Moab, May 5, 2005.

Minute buds give way to tiny flowers which give way to long seed pods.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Camissonia scapoidea

Range map for Chylismia scapoidea

Range map for Chylismia walkeri