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Robert Patterson, family description, key to genera

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine. Leaf: simple or compound, cauline (or most basal), alternate or opposite; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cymes, heads, clusters, or flower 1; bracts in involucres or not. Flower: sepals generally 5, fused at base, translucent membrane generally connecting lobes, torn by fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at >= 1 level, filaments of >= 1 length, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3. Fruit: capsule. Seed: 1–many, when wetted swelling or not, gelatinous or not.
26 genera, 314 species: America, northern Europe, northern Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox). [Porter & Johnson 2000 Aliso 19:55–91] Leptodactylon moved to Linanthus. —Scientific Editors: Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Polemoniaceae


J. Mark Porter

Annual. Stem: decumbent to erect, glabrous, hairy, glandular, or tufted-woolly-hairy. Leaf: simple, 1–3-pinnate-lobed or -dissected, generally alternate, margins entire, toothed, or lobed, tips acute, acuminate, or mucronate; basal generally in rosette; cauline generally reduced. Inflorescence: flowers 1–many in bract axils. Flower: calyx membranous between lobes, membranes splitting or expanding in fruit; corolla > calyx, lobes generally ovate, acute or acuminate. Fruit: spheric to ovoid; chambers 3; valves separating from top, to base and detaching or not to base and staying attached to receptacle. Seed: 3–many, yellow to brown, gelatinous when wet.
± 40 species: western North America, South America. (Filippo L. Gilii, Italian naturalist, 1756–1821) Stamens, styles said to be exserted protrude beyond fused part of corolla, that is, beyond corolla throat. Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Aliciella, Lathrocasis, Linanthus, Navarretia, Saltugilia. Gilia mexicana A.D. Grant & V.E. Grant recently found in San Diego Co.
Unabridged note: Gilia can be challenging to identify. Several small-flowered species are only cryptically different from one another and many traits overlap. In order to successfully use the key, it is important to note pattern and distribution of flower color at the time of collection, as it may fade upon drying. Depauperate specimens may be particularly difficult if not impossible to identify using ordinary means. Descriptions of flowers follows previous authors (Day 1993; Grant & Grant 1956) in subdividing fused part of corolla into tube (basal part with parallel sides) and throat (flared part distal to tube). It is important to note that in some cases these definitions do not refer to homologous parts of the corolla.

Key to Gilia

G. cana (M.E. Jones) A. Heller DESERT GILIA, SHOWY GILIA
Plant occasionally with skunk-like odor. Stem: 9–32 cm, branches 1–several from base, tufted-woolly-hairy near base, generally glandular above. Leaf: basal in rosette, 1–2-pinnate-lobed, tufted-woolly-hairy; axis < 3 mm wide; lobes generally ascending, toothed on both sides, teeth short-pointed or acuminate. Inflorescence: spreading, showy; flowers few to many. Flower: calyx 2–5.7 mm, gland-dotted, lobes acute to acuminate; corolla 8–32 mm, tube purple, throat yellow proximally, blue distally, lobes pink; stamens reaching below corolla lobe middle; style > stamens. Fruit: 3–9 mm, < calyx, ovoid to spheric; valves detaching. Seed: 12–60. [Online Interchange]

G. cana subsp. bernardina A.D. Grant & V.E. Grant
Leaf: basal densely tufted-woolly-hairy, not matted. Inflorescence: flowers 2–3; adjacent pedicels ascending, shorter < 1/2 longer. Flower: calyx 2.8–4 mm, tufted-woolly-hairy to ± glandular; corolla 17–23 mm, tube exserted, throat = tube, widely conic, lobes 4–6 mm wide; stamens unequal, longest exserted. Fruit: 5–9 mm, widely ovoid. Seed: 12–18.
2n=18. Open, gravelly or sandy flats, washes; 800–1890 m. n San Bernardino Mountains, sw edge Mojave Desert. Some populations intergrade with Gilia leptantha subsp. transversa. Apr–May [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Gilia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Gilia cana subsp. bernardina Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.