Gilia, Bird's Eye; Gilia tricolor
Mid Bloomer. Five small multicolor petals, blue to purple, yellow tube, branched stems, grow in grassy areas, blooms on sunny days.
Notes: Phlox family. Ours grow on the grassy slopes beyond the French Corral Creek Bridge. They grow in masses, which creates a lovely lavender ‘haze’ on the hill. The name comes from the dark centers of the tiny flowers that look like a ‘bird’s eye.’ The darkness is caused by a deep central opening in the flower. Using a magnifying glass you can see the wild combination of colors and intricate beauty: several clusters of 2 to 5 flowers branch off the slender 4" to12” stem. The very narrow, almost thread-like leaves are typical of the Phlox family. There are about 70 species of Gilia. Felipe Gil was an 18th century Spanish botanist. Instead of Tricolor, perhaps it should be called ‘polycolor!’
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Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons
Family Polemoniaceae -- Phlox family
Genus Gilia Ruiz & Pavón -- gilia
Species Gilia tricolor Benth. -- bird's-eye gilia
Contains 2 Subspecies and 2 accepted taxa overall
Gilia, Bird's Eye (Gilia tricolor) -- close-up
Gilia, Bird's Eye (Gilia tricolor) -- medium close-up
Hillside covered with Bird's Eye Gilia and poppies