Alphabetical Plant Listing

Gilia tricolor (Bird's-Eyes)

Bird's-Eye Gilia, Bird's-Eyes, Tricolor Gilia


A true beauty, Gilia tricolor (Bird's-Eyes) is a much-branched annual wildflower boasting pale-blue or violet flowers adorned with powder-blue stamens, a yellow throat, and a dark-purple ring atop the throat. These three striking colors earned it its scientific name, Gilia tricolor. The charming blossoms have a sweet chocolate scent, and bloom profusely in early to mid spring. Although the flowers are very small, 1/2 in. (1 cm), they really stand out in mass plantings. Rich in nectar, they are frequently visited by butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. They are borne atop upright stems and surrounded by a soft, feathery foliage of pinnately dissected leaves. Endemic throughout California, Gilia tricolor is easy to grow, drought tolerant and requires little care.

  • Grows up to 4-18 in. tall (10-45 cm) and 9 in. wide (22 cm). Self-sows readily in the garden and reliably returns each spring.
  • Thrives in full sun, in light, moderately fertile, well-drained soils. Tolerates clay but does best in well-drained soil.
  • A wonderful addition to the garden, this enthusiastic bloomer is well suited to beds and borders, cottage gardens, rock gardens, butterfly gardens or prairies and meadows.
  • Easy-care plant with no serious pest or disease issues.
  • Cut back after flowering
  • Propagate by seed. Seeds may be sown from autumn to early spring, but germination is better when planted with autumn rains. No pretreatment is necessary, although two seeks stratification improves germination.
  • Native to California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 10
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 4" – 2' (10cm – 60cm)
Spread 8" – 9" (20cm – 22cm)
Spacing 9" (22cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden, Prairie and Meadow

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Nick Fullerton (Flickr), Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 10
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 4" – 2' (10cm – 60cm)
Spread 8" – 9" (20cm – 22cm)
Spacing 9" (22cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden, Prairie and Meadow

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