Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WILDFLOWER WEDNESDAY: BLUE GILIA

It's Wildflower Wednesday and I'm joining Gail at  Clay and Limestone to post about a little native growing in my garden.
It might seem strange to be posting about this delicate bloomer today, with our famous Texas bluebonnet putting on such a big show. However, Blue gilia, Gilia rigidula, this pretty diminutive Texas wildflower is one of my spring favorites.



It isn't a plant you will find in your local nursery, in fact I have never seen it outside of my own garden although I am sure it is to be found in the Hill Country and further west. You can see how delicate is its foliage, easily trampled by unwary feet. But above that foliage a bright blue star shaped flower.


It took a beating from the hail last year so the patch isn't quite as large as in previous years but it seeds quite readily in the right kind of soil. It prefers dry, chalky soil and gravel.


This genus was named after the 18th Century Spanish botanist, Felipe Luis Gil. Gilia rigidula is native to Central, west Texas and New Mexico but there are other species of this wildflower to be found in other parts of the USA.

8 comments:

  1. I was startled when I tracked down a blue volunteer in my garden, as a Gilia (not as deep a blue as yours)

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  2. Such a pretty little bloom! You should scatter seeds wherever you can (even outside of your garden). I always love seeing unique natives propagating through a neighborhood. :)

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    1. Unfortunately that is not so easy. These are growing outside my garden on the slope where the limestone rubble prevails. It seeds itself but I have never had success.

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  3. Finding a plant like this in bloom has to be a wonderful testimonial to spring. California has a native Gilia (G. tricolor) but those I've seen are much paler in color than yours.

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  4. What a lovely blossom! If these appeared in more widespread fashion they'd give the bonnets a run for their money, no question. I'm guessing it is no accident Gilia appear in your garden spaces - these flowers seem to agree - a nicer home could not be found throughout their range!

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    1. I'd better be hoping the bluebonnets don't invade because I know who would win. As it is Erigeron is in there and I think I should remove that.

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    2. Will you try to transplant the fleabane? Mine is pretty now but it tends to disappear when the weather gets hotter/drier. I like having it around mixed in with other ground covers - the dainty flowers are so pretty moving from pink to white! Is yours an uninvited guest? I paid for mine! : )

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