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GILIA capitata

Image of Gilia capitata

Jesse Saylor

Family

Polemoniaceae

Botanical Name

GILIA capitata

Plant Common Name

Blue Thimble Flower, Field Gilia, Gillyflower

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

When the meager wild grasses wither away on the dry, sunny soil in summer, the blue thimble flower is looking healthy and showing off its lavender-blue blossoms. A fast-growing annual wildflower, it's native to coastal western North America, from British Columbia to California. It will reseed itself annually, with new plants sprouting up each spring in a landscape.

Blue thimble flower grows erect with feathery green foliage. Each wispy leaf is double branched and comprises numerous short, thin leaflets. On stem tips, in late spring to late summer, ball-like tufts of pale blue-violet to lavender blue flowers appear. When the tiny, five-petaled blossoms are open, the flower head resembles a pincushion, somewhat like the flowers of a bachelor's button. Butterflies and bees dance around the blossoms to pollinate them and yield seeds by fall before frost kills the plant.

Grow blue thimble flower in a sunny location with a loose, light-textured sandy or gritty soil. The soil must be well-drained. Sow the seeds where plants are to grow, as transplanting does not yield good results. However, thin out the seedlings as they grow to promote the strongest, most vigorous plants with lots of light and air circulation. Blue thimble flower is a pretty addition to a wildflower meadow or roadside verge.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 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

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    15"-24" / 38.1cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    8"-10" / 20.3cm - 25.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Northwestern United States, California, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Blue, Lavender, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes