Blue Field Gilia

A species of flowering plant in the Polemoniaceae or phlox family, the blue field gilia is known scientifically as gilia capitata, as well as the alternate common names of blue-thimble-flower, bluehead gilia, and globe gilia. Native to much of western North America from Alaska to northern Mexico, gilia capitata is now found on the eastern side of the continent as an introduced species. It grows in many habitats, especially in sandy or rocky soil.
In California it is widespread as a wildflower, occurring along the coast and in the Sierras.
Somewhat variable in appearance from plant to plant, the blue field gilia features flowers with a throat opening into a spreading corolla which may be white, pink, lavender, or light blue. The stamens protrude slightly from the flower’s mouth and are white with white, blue, or pink anthers. Each flower is supported by a green, lobed calyx, and consists of five linear to oblong petals, five slightly protruding stamens and a longer, two-lobed style. The corolla tube is entirely enclosed by the calyx.
The plant’s stout stems are branching and leafy, and it will reach anywhere from four to three feet in height, topped by spherical, terminal clusters of 30 to 100 white to blue flowers. It sometimes has glandular hairs on its fleshy herbage. The leaves are divided into toothed or lobed leaflets.
There are several subspecies, including, g. c. ssp. Abrotanifolia, which is native to California and Baja California; g.c. ssp. capitata, occurring throughout the range of the species; g.c. ssp. Chamissonis, known as the dune gilia and bearing blue-violet flowers, endemic to the sand dunes of California’s central coast; g.c. ssp. Mediomontana, native to th e Sierra Nevada; g.c. ssp. Pacifica, which grows along the coastline of Oregon and California; g.c. ssp. Pedemontana, native to the Sierra Nevada foothills; g.c. ssp. Staminea, found in California and Arizona; g.c. ssp. Tomentosa, a rare subspecies known from a few occurrences just north of the San Francisco Bay Area, and g.c. ssp. Aggregata.
The plant does well in sunshine in forests, prairies, and along the coast. It reseeds itself generously.
The Utes boiled the whole plant for glue.  Indians used the whole plant of Gilia to brew a tea for children. Gilia aggregata was used for the blue dye in its roots and as a blood purifier by Nevada Indians.
In the garden it is best use in a meadow-like setting with other annuals. It is frequently included in wildflower seed mixes.
Among the butterflies and moths the blue field gilia hosts are the adela singulella; the spotted straw sun moth (heliothis phloxiphaga); kodiosoma fulvum;  yermoia glaucina; and chinia biundulata.
From,,, Wikipedia

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