Gilia tricolor, Bird's Eye Gilia

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Gilia tricolor

Charming and dependable spring-blooming California wildflower growing 6" to 12" tall. It is one of the wildflowers whose intricate pattern benefits from close inspection. It has 1/2" light-blue or violet flowers set off by powder-blue stamens and a yellow throat with a dark purple ring, shading into white and pale lavender. Sometimes, it is entirely deep purple. The slender stalks are spreading rather than upright, which gives it a graceful appearance when grown in containers. The foliage is finely-divided and "ferny."

Bird's eye gilia has a long flowering period and is a good foil to the summer-flowering wildflowers, such as clarkias, as well as to the mid-spring bloomers that it naturally coincides with. It is marvelous in bouquets, functioning, with its small delicate flowers, in a similar manner to baby's breath. Self-sows and can be manipulated to bloom at different times, if it is sown throughout the season. On the north-central coast, we have sown it in mid-spring and kept it in part-shade, to bloom as late as October.

It is widely distributed in California, throughout the North Coast Ranges, the Sierra Nevada Foothills, the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, and the South Coast Ranges