Downingia concolor var. brevior

Common Names:
Cuyamaca Lake Downingia, Maroonspot Calico Flower
(McVaugh) R.M.Beauchamp
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

The conservation of Downingia concolor var. brevior is fully sponsored.


The Cuyamaca Lake downingia is a soft stem annual that germinates only when inundated with water when temperatures are cool. Downingias are one of an important and unique suite of plant and animal species that have adapted to thrive only within a vernal (seasonally moist then turning completely dry) pool habitat. In the spring following a normal rainfall year healthy populations of the Cuyamaca Lake downingia produce a blanket of intensely dark blue flowers sometimes giving the appearance of standing water long after the water has gone. The closest relative of this species occurs over 500 miles to the north.

In 1886, the outlet from the Cuyamaca Valley was dammed to form a reservoir and later in 1960 altered again to create an artificial fishing lake. The creation of the reservoir and lake eliminated many of the valleys meadows and temporary wetlands, the critical habitat for this uncommon and beautiful native wildflower.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research