Birdseye gilia is a many-branched, spreading,
leafy annual with stems that are floccose or glabrous below and glandular
above. The leaves are hairy in the axils and on the upper surfaces,
basal and lower cauline 1-2-pinnate with narrow to filiform segments
and upper palmate with linear, entire lobes. The flowers are either
solitary or in a 2-5-flowered glandular inflorescence. The calyx
has acute to acuminate, erect or spreading lobes to about 1/4"
long, and the corolla has a yellow tube, a yellow throat with purple
blotches below the lobes, and spreading lobes that are pale violet and
darker blue-violet toward the tips. The stamens are attached near
the corolla sinuses and are unequal in length. Both style and
filaments are somewhat exserted, with the style and stigma protruding
rather farther. The fruit is a dehiscent, ovoid, many-seeded capsule.
Birdseye gilia inhabits open grassy plains, slopes and valleys
mainly below 2000' in the South Coast Ranges, and blooms from March
to April. This picture was taken at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Gilia
2) tricolor 3) diffusa.
Pronunciation: JEE-lee-a TRY-kol-or di-FYOO-sa
Click here for Botanical