One of the easiest and most reliable showy annuals.
We love globe gilia for its ease of establishment. When sown in the fall on well prepared soil (cleared of competing weeds), this species is a reliable and fast germinating colonizer.
By May it begins bursting upwards with multiple cheerful bright blue flower stems on each plant. In normal years, these blooms can continue into July, after many other spring wildflowers start to fade. Its visual appeal is endearing enough that globe gilia has been transported far and wide, even becoming a common garden plant in some European cities, although its native range is from Baja California to southern British Columbia. While it is increasingly rare in the Northwest, we are glad to be bringing it back.
Globe gilia is very attractive to honey bees, and we also see great numbers of small ground-nesting sweat bees showing up on it, especially on warm mornings. The Propertius duskywing butterfly (Erynnis propertius), and various skipper butterflies are a few other insect visitors we’ve seen on this great plant.
Under natural conditions you would find this plant on poor quality soils such as dry gravel, sandy loam, or on dry sunny hillsides. That said it is adaptable to a broad range of soil conditions. Gilia tends to stay about knee-high, but in very rich soils we’ve seen it climb to almost 5 feet in height.
Note: This plant is included in our standard pollinator seed mix, but it tends to disappear after the first or second year as the longer-lived perennial plants in the seed mix begin to dominate. If you miss seeing it around after it declines in abundance, gilia can be introduced back into established meadows by periodically scratching open bare patches of soil in the fall and scattering seed into those openings.Approximately 1500 seeds (2.0 grams).