This is an attractive genus of small, free-flowering
annuals, biennials and perennials, sometimes divided
among several genera.
The annuals are hardy and mostly dwarf. Known
as Bird’s-Eyes, Gilia tricolor grows twelve
inches tall, with flowers of violet or lilac lobes,
with the tubes orange-yellow and the throat marked
with purple, borne in clusters of loose formation.
There is also a pink form, a white, a rose and
a violet. Gilia achilleaefolia also has the finely
divided foliage with purplish-blue flowers, growing
one foot high.
Gilia dianthoides (syn. Fenzlia dianthiflora) is
a pretty dwarf of four to six inches, tufted in
habit with thread-like leaves and tubular flowers
of lilac-pink or white, three-quarters of an inch
long, in small clusters.
The light blue flowers of Gilia capitata are about
an inch across and are carried in clusters on
eighteen- to twenty-four inch stems.
The seeds may be sown out-of-doors in autumn or
April, where the plants are to bloom. They like
a sunny position.
Propagation is from seed.
The flowering season is from midsummer onwards.
Six to eighteen inches.
Flowers white, blue and lavender, June to September.
A pretty annual of the “occasional”,
not the “indispensable” class. Gilia
tricolour has small flax-shaped flowers, white
and mauve, with dark throat;
Gilia nivalis is white with orange throat; both
of these are about eighteen inches in height.
Gilia minima cærulea and Gilia dichotoma
are only six inches high, the former bright blue,
the latter pure white.
All should be sown in March in patches or lines,
thinned and weeded as necessary. They may also
be sown in August to stand the winter and flower
early in the following summer.
See Also : Leptosiphon