GILIA, Annual Flower Information

GILIA, Annual Flower Information


(Named for Philipp Salvador Gil, Spanish botanist)

The Gilias are related to Phlox and, like them, have funnel or salver form flowers.

Gilia capitata, Globe Gilia, is a blue sort with flowers in dense heads a half-inch across. The plants grow 18 inches tall and have finely cut foliage.

Gilia coronopifolia (rubra), the Texasplume, grows 4 feet tall, has scarlet, pink and white Phlox-like flowers borne in a long, narrow cluster. Biennial treated as an annual.

Gilia tricolor, the Birdseye Gilia, grows 18 inches tall and has violet, lilac or rosy flowers with dark purple throats and yellowish tubes.

Where to Plant. Both Gilia tricolor and G. capitata are splendid rockery plants; making a limited growth, they do not overpower other plants.

GENERAL. Gilia capitala stands hot weather better than other sorts. It is well to sow the seeds in boxes in early April, except for G. coronopifolia, which is truly a biennial and should be started in a greenhouse in January and planted in pots until it can be set in the open soil in May

Information on 50+ annual flowers

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    David Hollombe

    Filippo Salvatore Gilii and Filippo Luigi Gilii were bot Italian Jesuit priests and naturalists. The first lived for many years in Venezuela and wrote on the local history, natural history, and native languages. The second was director of the Vatican Observatory and one his works was an account of some exotic plants grown in Rome, co-authored with the Argentine-born Jesuit Caspar Xuarez. Gilia was named after the second, not the first. The authors of the genus did not mention Gilii’s middle name, but did name the book he co-wrote.

    David Hollombe

    1794 dedication of Gilia: “Genus dicatum D. Philippo Gilii , qui una cum Casparo Xuarez Romae edere pergit Italico sermone Observationes phytologicas de nonnullis plantis exoticis , Romam inductis.”
    Title page of the work cited in the dedication: “OSSERVAZIONI FITOLOGICHE SOPRA ALCUNE PIANTE ESOTICHE INTRODOTTE IN ROMA Fatte nell’Anno 1789.
    Con licenza de’ Superiori.”

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