The flowers of this species are remarkable for their yellow-orange color and blue pollen. Occasionally plants of Collomia produce only small flower buds (mostly less than 5 mm long) that self-pollinate and never open. When this happens the process of normal floral expansion and insect-mediated pollination is bypassed altogether. Unopened flowers that set a normal complement of seeds are described as cleistogamous. Many species belonging to several plant families produce cleistogamous flowers under unfavorable conditions. In the course of flowering plant evolution it seems likely that cleistogamy arose in response to a scarcity of suitable pollinators.
DISTRIBUTION: Open areas throughout the Calif. Floristic Province; 600-2500 m.