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!’

Click on species name below to go to USDA for this species.

Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
    Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
        Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants
            Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants
                Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons
                    Subclass Asteridae
                        Order Solanales
                            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