Polemoniaceae: Phlox Family — Gilia
The beautiful flowers in the phlox family are mostly tubular. Instead of distinct petals, they have spreading lobes, fused to the tube at their base. They may be bell-shaped with gradually spreading lobes, or funnel-shaped, with a slender tube and abruptly spreading lobes. Typically, there are 5 lobes, with 5 stamens attached to the tube, and 3 stigmas on the pistil.
This page shows the Gilia, delicate and lovely. The color of the tube and/or the throat (the lower part of the tube’s interior) can be critical to identification. Also important is the presence or absence of hairs or glands on the stems or calyx, and the color of the membranes connecting the calyx lobes. Many gilias are spectacularly beautiful, but some are very small, and can be challenging to identify with certainty. Gilia are named after an Italia naturalist, Filippo Gilii, and therefore pronounced with a soft “g”.