Gilia tricolor Benth. ssp. diffusa (Congdon) H. Mason & A.D. Grant

Birdseye Gilia
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)


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 in Claremont.

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 Term Meanings.