Plant Species of San Jacinto Mountain: Gilia species

Table of Contents

The San Jacinto Mountain Gilia Species Found Above 4000 feet elevation
Comparison Pictures of the Gilia Species


This page shows comparison pictures of the Gilia species of San Jacinto Mountain found above 4000 feet elevation. More information about distribution and abundance will be added in the future. I include the Saltugilia species on this page, which were formerly placed in the Gilia genus.

There are two important things to note about Gilia identification:

See also:

The San Jacinto Mountain Gilia Species Found Above 4000 feet elevation

Table 1 lists the six Gilia species found above 4000 feet elevation at San Jacinto Mountain, along with the number of trails / floras on which we have seen each species.

Table 1. The Gilia species of San Jacinto Mountain above 4000 feet elevation

Scientific NameCommon Name# areas
Gilia angelensisangel's gilia1
Gilia brecciarum ssp. brecciarumNevada gilia2
Gilia capitata ssp. abrotanifoliaglobe gilia6
Gilia diegensiscoastal gilia9
Gilia ochroleuca ssp. exilisvolcanic gilia4
Saltugilia australissouthern gilia1
Saltugilia splendens ssp. splendenssplendid gilia20

Comparison Pictures of the Gilia Species

Click on the thumbnail pictures to get a larger version of any of them that often includes surrounding parts.

The Saltugilia species are easy to recognize, since they have translucent hairs on the leaves which can often by spotted sparkling in the sun from a standing position, and they have tack-shaped glands on the pedicels and stems just below the flowers. Tack-shaped glands are shaped like a tack, with a large flat head as wide as the stalk as long. Most other glands have a stalk longer than the width of the head, or have heads that are spherical, not flat.

Our two Saltugilia species are simply differentiated by flower color, whitish for S. australis and a very definite pink for S. splendens.

Fig. 1 shows comparison pix of four of our Gilia speces. Pictures of S. australis, G. diegensis and G. ochroleuca ssp. exilis are from Garner Valley in April 2014. Pictures of G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum are from the PCT north of the Cedar Spring Trail on 15 May 2018. Pix of other species will be added in the future.

Characteristic S. australis G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum G. diegensis G. ochroleuca ssp. exilis
Basal leaf hairs (click on pix to see basal leaf rosettes)
Pedicel / Uppermost Stem glands
Cauline leaves
Flower from the side
Flower from the top

Fig. 1. Comparison of four Gilia species. Note the difference in:

Click on the pix for larger versions.

The most difficult of these to distinguish are G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum and G. diegensis. Their distinguishing features are:

It also appears to be the case that the tube and lower throat for G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum is a solid purple, whereas they are a less solid purple for G. diegensis, at least in fresh specimens.

Although the key implies that the upper cauline leaves for G. diegensis are more clasping than those of G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum, the difference is not clear in at least some cases, since G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum can have upper cauline leaves that appear just as clasping as those of G. diegensis.

Although in the pictures above, the pollen is blue for G. diegensis and white for G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum, the latter can also have blue pollen, at least elsewhere.

For additional photographs of G. brecciarum ssp. brecciarum from three different locations on the Desert Divide from the Cedar Spring Trail to the area of Palm View Peak, see west of Palm View Peak - 1; west of Palm View Peak - 2; and top of Cedar Spring Trail.

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Copyright © 2014-2018 by Tom Chester.
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 17 May 2018.