Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)
A large family centered in California and well represented in the White-Inyo Range. The flowers are mostly five-parted. In most species the calyx is membranous between the lobes. Corollas are tubular, at least below, and may be campanulate (bell-shaped), funnelform, or salverform (a corolla with a slender tube abruptly expanding at right angles into petals or a rim). The narrow part at the base of the corolla is known as the tube and the flaring portion above as the throat, with the lobes above the throat. The leaves of many are prickle-tipped. Gilia leaves are usually toothed or lobed, some with a broad midrib (rachis). Most commonly they are in a basal rosette or tuft, with only a few reduced leaves above. One group, known as the cobwebby gilias, has cobwebby hairs about the base.
Collomia linearisNutt. Lesser Collomia. A slender annual, 4–12 in (1–3 dm) tall, with leafy stems. Leaves are thin, lanceolate to linear, mostly 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) long, alternate on the stem. Flowers are in terminal clusters, mostly hidden by leaflike bracts. The dainty corolla is slender tubular with a slightly broader throat and flaring lobes, about 3/8 in (1 cm) long in all. Flower: Pink or bluish to white.
Distribution. Dry to moderately moist places; White Mountains; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, up to 10,300 ft (3,140 m).
Eriastrum diffusum(Gray) Mason. Spreading Eriastrum. A low annual with stems spreading from the base when well developed, up to 6 in (15 cm) long. Foliage is sparse on the reddish, wiry branches. Leaves are finely linear, 3/8–1 in (1–2.5 cm) long, simple or with a pair of linear segments on the lower half. Flowers are in dense terminal clusters enclosed in prickle-tipped, woolly bracts, as is typical of the genus Eriastrum . The corolla is short tubular, about 1/4 in (6 mm) long, with slender lobes. Flower: Pale blue-lavender to white.
Distribution. Dry, shady or gravelly places; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 4,800–7,500 ft (1,463–2,287 m).
Eriastrum sparsiflorum(Eastwood) H. Mason var.wilcoxii(A. Nels.) Cronq. Wilcox Woolly Star. (Eriastrum wilcoxii [A. Nels.] H. Mason) An erect annual 4–12 in (1–3 dm) high, the stems freely branching in well-developed plants. The leaves are narrowly linear, mostly with one to three pairs of lateral segments. Heads are compact with woolly bracts, relatively few-flowered. The calyx lobes are woolly, lanceolate, and prickle-tipped, almost as long as the corolla tube. The corolla is short tubular, hardly 1/2 in (13 mm) long, with spreading lobes, all but the lobes fairly
hidden. Stamens are on short filaments and barely protrude above the corolla throat. Flower: Pale blue-lavender to white.
Distribution. Dryish slopes and washes; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 4,200–8,000 ft (1,280–2,439 m).
Gilia aggregata(Pursh) Sprengel var.arizonica(Greene) Fosb. Arizona Scarlet Gilia. (Ipomopsis aggregata [Pursh] V. Grant ssp. arizonica [Greene] V. & A. Grant) (Plate 6.142) A perennial with several erect stems 4–10 in (1–2.4 dm) high. The plant is finely frosty-hairy above and has longer, curly hairs below. Leaves are tufted at the base and also on the stems. Basal blades are mostly 1/2–2 in (13–25 mm) long, divided into linear segments. Flowers are on the upper stems. The calyx is 1/4 in (6 mm) long. The corolla has a gradually broadening tube, salverform, about 3/4 in (2 cm) long. Its lobes are 3/8–1/2 in (10–13 mm) long. This variety has broader lobes and a shorter tube than others in the species. Flower: Bright red.
Distribution. Uncommon; Inyo Mountains; Subalpine Zone, 10,000–10,500 ft (3,049–3,201 m).
Gilia brecciarumJones ssp. neglectaA. & V. Grant. Kern-Inyo Gilia. An erect annual 3–10 in (7.5–25 cm) high, commonly branching but with a rather rigid appearance. This is one of the cobwebby gilias with fine, web-like hairs about the base. Leaves are mostly in a semi-erect rosette. The blades are oblong or linear in outline, with a broad rachis and well-spaced toothlike lobes about as long as the rachis is wide. The inflorescence is stiffly branching. The corolla is 3/8–1/2 in (10–13 mm) long, the short, narrow tube expanding into a full, open throat, salverform, with lobes 1/4 in (6 mm) long. This is a Showy Gilia with strong colors. Stamens are unequal and well exserted. Flower: The tube and lower throat are dark purple, the upper throat white with yellow spots, and the lobes light violet.
Distribution. Open places; canyon mouths; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, to 9,000 ft (2,744 m).
Gilia campanulataGray. Bell Gilia. (Plate 6.143) A dainty annual, freely branching, making rounded plants 1–6 in (2.5–15 cm) high. They are leafy throughout, but the leaves are narrow and inconspicuous, up to 1/2 in (13 mm) long. Flowers are bell-shaped, 1/4–3/8 in (6–10 mm) long, lobed. Flower: White with two yellow stripes below each lobe.
Distribution. Uncommon; sandy places about the base of the range; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, up to 7,000 ft (2,134 m).
Gilia cana(Jones) Heller ssp. triceps(Brand) A. & V. Grant. Showy Gilia. (Plate 6.144) An erect annual with stems 4–12 in (1–3 dm) high. This is another of the cobwebby gilias. The leaves are in basal rosettes, the blades with a narrow rachis and prominent lobes. The inflorescence is loosely branched, the flowers on
long, slender pedicels. The corolla is salverform; the tube is very slender, abruptly expanding to the throat; and the lobes are longer than broad, 1/2–1 in (13–25 mm) long in all. Stamens are slightly exserted. This is truly a showy species. Not only does it produce many flowers at once, but an entire slope may be colored with its blooms. Flower: The tube purple; the throat yellow below, commonly followed by a band of white, and violet above; and lobes pinkish violet.
Distribution. Common, especially on limestone; dry, open places; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 4,000–6,700 ft (1,220–2,043 m).
Gilia clokeyiMason. Clokey Gilia. A cobwebby gilia 2–12 in (5–30 cm) high with slender, branching stems. Leaves are in a dense or loose basal rosette. The rachis is narrow and the lobes short and blunt. A few small leaves appear at the branch forks. The corolla tube does not exceed the minute calyx, so only the narrow throat and corolla lobes are visible. The entire corolla length is about 3/16 in (5 mm). The capsules are globular. Flower: Throat pale yellow below, white above; the lobes pale or bluish.
Distribution. Uncommon, apparently living in dolomitic soil; Desert Scrub, 4,000–5,500 ft (1,220–1,677 m).
Gilia congestaHook. var. montana(Nels. & Kennedy) Constance & Robbins. White Globe-gilia. (Ipomopsis congesta [Hook.] V. Grant ssp. montana [Nels. & Kennedy] V. Grant) (Plate 6.145) A matted perennial that forms cushionlike rosettes with erect or spreading flowering stems 1 1/2–4 in (4–10 cm) long. The plants are grayish throughout with crinkly, white hairs. Leaves are narrowly divided, most with three to five lobes, forklike, 1/4–1 in (6–25 mm) long. Flowers are minute and in dense terminal heads or cymes. The calyx is about 1/8 in (3 mm) long, and the corolla is hardly twice that length, tubular, with out-turned lobes. Stamens are slightly exserted. The plant is appealing, but not at all showy. Flower: White with yellowish throat.
Distribution. Common on high limestone or dolomite slopes; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 7,200–12,000 ft (2,195–3,658 m).
Gilia filiformisParry. Yellow Gilia. A dainty annual, 1–6 in (2.5–15 cm) high, with very slender branches. Leaves are very narrow, mostly less than 1 in (2.5 cm) long, and well distributed but too fine to show up. Flowers, too, occur throughout the plant. The corolla is campanulate, fairly lacking a tube, but with lobes about 3/8 in (1 cm) long. Flower: Bright yellow.
Distribution. Limited; dry sandy or gravelly places; Desert Scrub, 4,000–6,000 ft (1,120–1,829 m).
Gilia gilioides(Benth.) Greene var. violacea(Heller) Cronq. Violet Gilia. (Allophyllum violaceum [Heller] A. & V. Grant) A slender annual, openly branched
when well developed, 2–12 in (5–30 cm) high, leafy throughout. Leaves are narrowly linear or elliptic, some with a pair of teeth toward the base, and under 1 in (2.5 cm) long. The corolla is tubular or slender funnelform, 1/4 in (6 mm) long. Flower: Dark blue-violet.
Distribution. Uncommon; dry to moderately moist places; Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 7,000–9,000 ft (2,134–2,744 m).
Gilia hutchinsifoliaRydb. Desert Pale Gilia. A branching annual, 2–10 in (5–25 cm) high, with very fine tack-shaped glands throughout. The leaves, 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) long, are in a well-developed basal rosette, along with some reduced forms on the branches. The rachis is narrow and the lobes prominent, commonly cut or toothed. The calyx is very short. The corolla is narrowly funnelform with a slender tube and flaring throat, topped by ascending lobes, 3/8–1/2 in (10–13 mm) long in all. Anthers are at the base of the lobes. Flower: Tube pale violet; lower throat yellow, upper white; lobes white with pale violet streaks.
Distribution. Uncommon; sandy slopes and washes; Desert Scrub, 4,200–5,000 ft (1,280–1,524 m).
Gilia latifoliaWatson. Holly Gilia. (Plate 6.146) A finely glandular annual 4–12 in (1–3 dm) high. Leaves are broadly obovate and coarsely toothed, each tooth prickle-tipped. The blades, 1–3 in (2.5–8 cm) long, are on petioles equally long in basal leaves and much shorter above. The lower half of the plant is leafy, and the upper half is a branching inflorescence. The calyx is about 1/4 in (6 mm) long, its tapered and prickle-tipped lobes as long as its tube. The corolla is funnelform, 3/8 in (1 cm) long, five-lobed. Flower: Bright pink inside, pale or buff outside.
Distribution. Common; gravelly flats and in rocky gullies, especially in limestone areas; Desert Scrub, below 7,000 ft (2,134 m).
Gilia leptomeriaGray. Sand Gilia. A somewhat glandular annual, 3–8 in (8–20 cm) high, with leaves in a flat basal rosette. The shining leaves, 3/8–2 in (1–5 cm) long, are strap-shaped, shallowly lobed or bluntly toothed, usually bright green. The branching inflorescence has an abundance of small flowers. The corolla, about 3/16 in (5 mm) long, has a slender tube; a short, gently flaring throat; and pointed, commonly tridentate lobes. A hand lens will reveal their beautiful form. Flower: Tube pale pink or lavender, throat yellowish, and the lobes streaked with purple.
Distribution. Common; open, sandy places; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 3,500–8,300 ft (1,067–2,530 m).
Gilia ochroleucaJones. Volcanic Pale Gilia. A dainty annual, 2 1/2–6 in (6–15 cm) high, commonly with branches broadly spreading from the base. Leaves are at or near the base, but they are narrowly lobed and relatively inconspicuous. The flowers, on fine pedicels, are well distributed. The corolla is hardly 1/4 in (6 mm) long, twice
the length of the calyx, which conceals the tube. The throat flares to a broad opening topped by spreading lobes. Flower: Lower throat yellow, the upper portion pale violet, and lobes violet or pink.
Distribution. Limited; sandy or gravelly places on granitic or volcanic rocks; Desert Scrub, 4,000–6,500 ft (2,120–1,982 m).
Gilia ophthalmoidesBrand. Pinyon Gilia. (Plate 6.147) A cobwebby gilia 6–12 in high, glandular above. Plants are erect with a strict branching habit. Leaves have a narrow rachis, with lobes mostly longer than the width of the rachis, and are mostly in a basal tuft. The corolla is funnelform with an extremely slender tube expanding slightly to a narrow throat, topped by short lobes. Flower: Tube light violet, throat yellow except for pale blue-violet at the opening, and lobes violet to pink.
Distribution. Most common in the Pinyon-juniper Woodland, Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 4,500–10,000 ft (1,372–3,049 m).
Gilia polycladonTorr. Spreading gilia. (Ipomopsis polycladon [Torr.] V. Grant) A low annual with branches 1–6 in (2.5–15 cm) long, spreading from the base. The branches are usually reddish and naked except for a single leaf at each node and terminal tufts of leaves and flowers. There are a few basal leaves also. The leaves are 3/8–1 in (1–2.5 cm) long, somewhat wedge-shaped, the upper half prominently toothed. Although they are green, they appear frosted with curly, white hairs. The flower clusters are almost hidden by the leaves. The corolla is tubular, 3/16 in (5 mm) long, hardly exceeding the calyx, with flaring lobes. Flower: White.
Distribution. Limited; sandy or gravelly places; Desert Scrub to Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 4,000–7,600 ft (1,220–2,317 m).
Gilia scopulorumJones. Rock Gilia. A glandular-hairy annual, 4–16 in (1–4 dm) high, usually well branched. Leaves are 1/2–2 in (13–50 mm) long, deeply cut into teeth or toothed lobes, mostly in a basal tuft. Flowers have a relatively short calyx. The corolla is narrowly funnelform, about 1/2 in (13 mm) long, with rather short lobes. Flower: Tube purple-streaked; lower throat yellow, upper throat lavender; and lobes pink-lilac, usually pale pink or buff outside.
Distribution. Uncommon; rocky places, commonly at the base of cliffs; usually on limestone; Desert Scrub, 3,500–6,000 ft (1,067–1,829 m).
Gilia sinuataDouglas. Cinder Gilia. A stiffly erect branching annual, 3–12 in (8–30 cm) high, some individuals with multiple stems. The plant is moderately glandular-hairy on the upper portion, including the inflorescence, but the lower stems lack any hairs or glands. Leaves are strap-shaped and prominently lobed, grayish green above with a pale vein down the center, all in a basal rosette except for a few bractlike leaves on the stems. Flowers are small, only about 5/16 in (8 mm) long. The calyx is about one-third the length of the corolla. The latter is funnelform, with the narrow
tube mostly enclosed in the calyx but some are well exserted. Flower: Tube purple with pale veins; throat yellowish, commonly with purple streaks coming up from the tube; and lobes violet to pinkish.
Distribution. Limited; dry, sandy places, especially on granitic and volcanic soils; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 3,500–7,200 ft (1,067–2,195 m).
Gilia stellataHeller. Dotted-throat Gilia. An annual 4–20 in (1–5 dm) tall. The foliage at the base is not cobwebby but is gray with a dense coat of very fine, branched, white hairs. Leaves are usually 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) long, divided to the middle into toothed lobes. Although they are mostly in a basal tuft, there are a few reduced leaves on the stems. The calyx is short, its green midribs tapering to slender lobes. The corolla is funnelform, about 3/8 in (1 cm) long, with fairly long lobes. The stamens barely protrude at the mouth. A common characteristic is a row of purple dots around the throat, but these are absent on some individuals. Flower: Pale or off-white, some tinged lavender or pale blue.
Distribution. Limited, locally abundant; sandy and gravelly places; Desert Scrub, from low elevations up to 6,000 ft (1,829 m).
Gymnosteris parvula. Gymnosteris. (Plate 6.148) A diminutive annual, 1/2 in (13 mm) high, more or less. It has no foliage leaves, but a pair of tiny cotyledons persist at the base of the slender stems, and a whorl of bracts subtends the terminal flower cluster. The bracts are linear to ovate, 1/8–3/8 in (3–10 mm) long. The corolla is tubular and lobed but only about 1/16 in (2 mm) long and hardly exceeding the calyx. This unusual little plant is worth examining under a lens. Flower: White or pinkish.
Distribution. Uncommon; moist slopes and meadow borders; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 8,500–12,000 ft (2,591–3,658 m).
Langloisia setosissima(Torr. & Gray) ssp.punctata(Coville) Timbrook Dotted Langloisia. (L. punctata [Coville] Goodd.) (Plate 6.149) A prickly tuft of a plant or a much-branched, spreading annual, depending on the moisture available. It is 1/2–4 in (13–100 mm) high and is normally broader than tall. Leaves are triangular or wedge-shaped with three to five coarse, bristle-tipped teeth. Flowers are tubular, up to 1 in (2.5 cm) long, with flaring lobes. Flower: Lilac to whitish, purple-dotted.
Distribution. Dry, gravelly places on open slopes; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 4,000–8,400 ft (1,222–2,561 m).
Leptodactylon pungensTorr. Rydb. var.hallii(Parish) Mason. Prickly Phlox. (Plate 6.150) A shrubby perennial with branches 4–24 in (1–6 dm) long and rigid but somewhat sprawling. Its branches are clothed with needle-like leaves up to 1/2 in (13 mm) long. Each has one or two pairs of lesser spine-tipped segments toward the base, so the middle segment is much the longest. It is commonly curved downward.
Flowers are nocturnal, opening in the evening, and commonly sweet-scented. The corolla is tubular with lobes about 3/8 in (1 cm) long, with lobes of some corolla equaling the length of tube. Flower: White, some tinged with lavender.
Distribution. Common on dryish flats and slopes; Desert Scrub to Alpine Zone, 6,000–12,000 ft (1,829–3,658 m).
Var.pungens(Torr.) Rydb. Granite Gilia. (Ssp.pulchriflorum (Brand) Mason) Middle leaf segments are less than twice as long as the others, and there are more lateral segments. They are not as rigid as in var. hallii . The flowers are much the same.
Distribution. Rocky places, mostly on granitic or volcanic rocks; Alpine Zone, 10,000–13,000 ft (3,049–3,963 m).
Linanthus nuttallii(Gray) Greene ssp.pubescensPatterson. Bushy Linanthus. (Linanstrum nuttallii) (Plate 6.151) A bushy perennial with a woody base and numerous slender stems 4–12 in (1–3 dm) high. The leaves are mostly 1/4–1/2 in (6–13 mm) long, divided to thebase into five to nine linear segments. These, along with lesser leaves in the axils, make well-spaced whorls on the stems. Flowers are in terminal clusters subtended by leaflike bracts. The corolla is salverform, the tube 3/8 in (1 cm) long, with comparatively long lobes. The plant may vary from a fairly dense form to one with long internodes. These may be considered separate subspecies by some authors. Flower: White, commonly with a yellowish tube.
Distribution. Common on dryish slopes; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 7,000–12,500 ft (2,134–3,811 m).
Linanthus parryae(Gray) Greene. Sand Blossoms. (Plate 6.152) A small annual, mostly only 3/4–2 in (2–5 cm) high, with a generous inflorescence hiding the rest of the plant. They appear to rest right on the ground. The inconspicuous leaves are divided into fine, linear segments. The 1/2 in (13 mm)-long corolla is showy, broadly funnelform, with the spreading lobes much longer than the very short tube. Flower: Usually blue-lavender, rarely paler to white, with a contrasting color in the throat.
Distribution. Limited populations; sandy or gravelly slopes; Desert Scrub, below 5,500 ft (1,677 m).
Navarretia breweri(Gray) Greene. Yellow Navarretia. A dainty annual 1/2–3 in (13–77 mm) high. Well-developed plants have wiry, branching stems, but more commonly they are no more than a short, single stem. Leaves are divided into very narrow, firm, prickly segments, up to 1 in (2.5 cm) long. Flowers are in dense terminal tufts subtended by leaflike bracts. The minute corollas are tubular, 1/4 (6 mm) long, and lobed. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Slightly moist places, such as flats or meadow borders; Pinyon-juniper Woodland and Subalpine Zone, 8,500–11,000 ft (2,591–3,354 m).
Phlox condensata(Gray) E. Nels. Cushion Phlox. (Phlox covillei E. Nels.) (Plate 6.153) A perennial that forms dense, cushionlike mats composed of closely packed, erect stems, densely clothed with short, appressed leaves. The leaves are linear, two-grooved on the back, and sharply bristle-pointed. Each stem has a single flower, but the flowers are showy when covering the entire mound. The corolla is salverform, up to 1/2 in (13 mm) long, with generous lobes. Flower: White to pink or blue-lavender.
Distribution. Dense populations on dolomitic-soil flats; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 8,400–13,500 ft (2,561–4, 116 m).
Phlox hoodiiRichards ssp. canescens(Torr. & Gray). Woolly Phlox. A perennial, similar to P. condensata, but with a less dense growth habit, cushion-forming but not densely compact. The calyx and usually the leaf margins are cobwebby-woolly. The corolla, too, is similar to the cushion phlox but has longer lobes. Flower: Lavender or pink-purple to white.
Distribution. Dry, rocky places; White Mountains; Pinyon-juniper Woodland and Subalpine Zone, 8,000–10,000 ft (2,439–3,049 m).
Phlox longifoliaNutt. var. stansburyi(Torr.) Gray. Stansbury Phlox.(Phlox stansburyi [Torr.] Heller) (Plate 6.154) A perennial somewhat woody at the base. The leafy stems, 4–12 in high, usually come from horizontal underground stems. Leaves are firm, linear or narrowly lanceolate, in pairs, 1/2–1 1/2 in (13–38 mm) long. Corollas are salverform with straight tubes, 1 in (2.5 cm) long, and lobes 3/8–1/2 in (10 –13 mm) long. A short-flowered form, in which the corolla tube is only about twice the length of the calyx, also occurs in the range, but it is usually considered but a variation of the var. stansburyi. Flower: Deep pink to white.
Distribution. Common; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 5,000–10,000 ft (1,524–3,049 m).
Polemonium chartaceumMason. White Mountain Sky Pilot. (Plate 6.155) A glandular perennial 2–6 in (5–15 cm) high. Stems and leaves are crowded on a short root crown, along with strawlike leaf bases persisting from prior years. Leaves are finely divided into minute leaflets, which are again divided almost to the base. Flowers are in dense, terminal heads. The corolla is funnelform, about 1/2 in (13 mm) long, including its rounded lobes. Stamens are exserted. This species is like a smaller form of the Sierra Sky Pilot. Flower: Blue-violet.
Distribution. Rocky places; White Mountains; Alpine Zone, above 13,000 ft (3,963 m).