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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Robert W. Patterson, Family Editor

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine
Leaves simple or compound, cauline (or most in basal rosette), alternate or opposite; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cymes, heads, or flowers solitary
Flower: calyx generally 5-ribbed, ribs often connected by translucent membranes that are generally torn by growing fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at same or different levels, filaments of same or different lengths, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: capsule
Seeds 1–many, gelatinous or not when wet
Genera in family: 19 genera, 320 species: Am, n Eur, n Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox )
Recent taxonomic note: *See also revised taxonomy of Porter and Johnson 2000 Aliso 19(1):55–91; Porter 1998 Aliso 17:83–85


Alva G. Day

Annual, perennial herb, generally erect
Stem glabrous, hairy, glandular, or cobwebby
Leaves simple, generally alternate; basal generally in rosette, toothed, pinnately lobed, or entire; cauline generally reduced; leaf tips, calyx lobes acute, acuminate, or needle-like
Inflorescence: flowers solitary or clustered, 1–many in axils of bracts
Flower: calyx membranous between ribs, membrane splitting or expanding; corolla > calyx, lobes generally ovate
Fruit generally ovoid; chambers 3, valves separating from top
Seeds 3–many, brown, generally gelatinous when wet
Species in genus: ± 70 species: w North America, South America
Etymology: (Felipe Gil, 18th century Spanish botanist)


G. capitata Sims

Stem branched, 10–90 cm, leafy below inflorescence, glabrous, glandular, or with white hairs
Leaves: lower 1–2-pinnate, lobes 5–20 mm, axis and lobes ± 1 mm wide, linear, end lobe generally wider, axils and midribs generally with white hairs; upper cauline reduced or lobes finger-like
Inflorescence: head, terminal, spheric; flowers 50–100
Flower: calyx expanded in fruit, lobes acute to acuminate, membrane width > ribs; corolla tube included, throat generally exserted, lobes linear to oblong; stamens and style exserted; stigmas < 2 mm
Fruit < calyx, ovoid to spheric
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Open, generally sandy to rocky areas
Elevation: < 2100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, n Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Channel Islands, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho, Baja California


subsp. chamissonis (Greene) V.E. Grant


Plant generally with skunk-like odor
Stem: branches spreading, 15–70 cm, stout, glandular
Leaves: basal in rosette, fleshy, glandular, 2-pinnate
Inflorescence 25–35 mm wide; base densely tomentose; flowers sessile
Flower: calyx tomentose, ribs green, membrane purplish, lobes acuminate, tips recurved; corolla 9–10 mm, bright blue-violet, lobes ± 3 mm wide, oblong
Fruit ovoid, not detaching
Seeds 10–25
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Coastal sandhills
Elevation: < 60 m.
Bioregional distribution: n Central Coast
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN, IRR: 5, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for GILIA%20capitata%20subsp.%20chamissonis being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Gilia capitata subsp. chamissonis
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