Gilia capitata

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  • Latin Name: Gilia capitata
  • Family: Polemoniaceae
  • Common Names: bluehead gilia, globe gilia
  • Codon: GILCAP
Gilia capitata growth habit


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • (unranked): Angiosperms
  • (unranked): Eudicots
  • (unranked): Asterids
  • Order: Ericales
  • Family: Polemoniaceae
  • Genus: Gilia
  • Species: G. capitata


  • General: Erect, slender, sparingly-branched annual, the glabrous to stipitate-glandular stem 1.5-10 dm. tall.
  • Leaves: Leaves basal and cauline, the lower bipinnatifid with slender rachis and narrow ultimate segments; reduced upward and becoming pinnatifid.
  • Flowers: Flowers sessile in dense, 50- to 100-flowered heads terminating the stem and branches; corolla bluish, 6-10 mm. long, the 5 slender lobes about equaling the tube; calyx with prominent translucent intervals between the 5 herbaceous segments; filaments inserted in the sinuses of the corolla, about equal to the lobes; style 3-parted; ovary superior.
  • Fruit: Capsules with 3 carpels, each with 2, 3 or 0 seeds; become mucilaginous when wet.

Bloom Period

May, June, July


More common west of the Cascade summits,Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to California, east to Idaho


Fairly common in dry to moist open meadows, rock outcrops, rocky slopes, clearings, and roadsides, at low to middle elevation; escaped from cultivation and established in a few places in southeast Alaska


Unknown human uses


Seeds may be sown from autumn to early spring, but germination is better when planted with autumn rains. Self-sows readily


Seed sample from: 2011

Average Measurement: 1.7 x 1.1 x 0.7

Measurement Range: L: 1.2 – 2, W: 0.75 – 1.4, D: 0.5 – 1.1


Shape: Seed narrow at hilium end, broadening at opposite apex. Hilium inconspicuous. Uniformity in shape is not that common, but most seeds take a relatively teardrop shaped.

GICA seeds.
Photo by Dennis Plank

Color: Seed is brown, very bumpy, and slightly lustrous.

Surface: Seed coat becomes very mucilaginous and stringy when wet.

Could be confused with COGRX, but GICA is about ½ the size and does not have sulcus.

Latitudinal Cross Section: elliptical GICA lat.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: obovate GICA long.png


USDA plant profile
GICA Wikipedia
Burke Herbarium
MacKinnon, Andy, and Jim Pojar. Plants of the Pacific Northwest coast. Lone Pine Pub, 2004. Print.

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.

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