Broad-Flowered Gilia

Gilia latiflora is a species of flowering plant in the phlox family known by the common names hollyleaf gilia and broad-flowered gilia. Native and endemic to California, more than 80 percent of the broad-flowered gilia grow in the deserts and mountains of San Bernardino County.
Gilia latiflora is an annual, perennial herb that is generally erect with a glabrous, hairy, glandular, or cobwebby stem. It starts from a basal rosette of frilly leaves, each of which is simple, generally alternate, many-toothed, pinnately lobed, entire or cauline. Sometimes the leaf tips have acute calyx lobes, or are acuminate or needle-like.
The stem is generally too small to notice; instead the plant is scapose, sending stemlike inflorescences directly up from the ground.
Each multibranched inflorescence is green to reddish in color and approaches half a meter in maximum height. These are topped with fragrant calyx flowers one to three centimeters across, that are membranous between ribs, with the membrane splitting or expanding. The corolla is greater than the calyx, with lobes that are generally ovate. The flowers are solitary or clustered, many in axils of bracts.
Each flower is lavender to purple with a white throat from which protrude a long style and several shorter stamens.
The Gilia latiflora is noteworthy because it adds lavender to the colorful carpet of spring wildflowers on the sandy washes of both the desert and the mountainsides.
The flower produces a fruit that is generally ovoid with three chambers and valves separating from top. It contains brown seeds that become gelatinous when wet.
The plant was named after Felipe Gil, an 18th Century Spanish botanist.

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