Gilia haydenii
Author: Gray

San Juan gilia

Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)

Close up of Gilia haydenii by Al Schneider.
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Close up of Gilia haydenii by Al Schneider.
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Close up of Gilia haydenii by Peggy Lyon.
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Taxonomic Comments

Ackerfield (2015) lists this as Aliciella haydenii (A. Gray) J.M. Porter, and recognizes two subspecies in Colorado: ssp. haydenii, and ssp. crandallii.  The later is known from La Plata and Montezuma counties. The subspecies are based on differences in the corolla size, pubescence, and color.  Photos of the two subspecies are presented on the Southwest Colorado Wildflowers website (Schneider 2017). 

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Gilia haydenii by Joan Kind.
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General description: Biennial, 1-5 dm tall, sparsely glandular-stipitate throughout to subglabrous. Basal leaves coarsely toothed to pinnately cleft or lobed. Cauline leaves abruptly reduced, mostly linear and entire. Rose-purple to pink-lavender tubular flowers, > 1 cm long, clustered near the ends of the stems. Unlike several other Gilia species, the anthers are not exserted (Weber and Wittmann 2012, Ackerfield 2015, Schneider 2017).

Look Alikes: The anthers not protruding beyond the rose colored corolla tube is distinctive. Other species without exserted anthers would be white or lavender (Weber and Wittmann 2012).

Phenology: Flowers April-September (Ackerfield 2015).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Gilia haydenii housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Gilia haydenii by Peggy Lyon.
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Habitat of Gilia haydenii by Peggy Lyon.
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In Colorado, this species is found on colluvial fans from sandstone parent rock, on shale, barren outcroppings, in rocky soils, sometimes with pinyon-juniper or sagebrush (Weber and Wittman 2012, Ackerfield 2015). Also found in sandy clay soils. Additional associated species include Quercus gambelii, Cercocarpus montanus, Stanleya pinnata, Ericameria nauseosa, Heterotheca villosa, Eurybia glauca, Achnatherum hymenoides, Castilleja linariifolia, Cirsium calcareum, Coleogyne ramosissima, Atriplex canescens, Bouteloua gracilis, Macheranthera grindeliodes, Hymenopappus filifolius, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Cryptantha flava, Astragalus wingatanus, Physaria acutifolia, Hilaria jamesii, Hedysarum boreale, Lepidium montanum, Tetraneuris ivesiana, Ephedra viridis, Yucca harrimanniae, Purshia stansburiana, Fraxinus anomala, Eriogonum corymbosum, Eriogonum umbellatum (Colorado Natural Heritage Program occurrence records 2017).

Elevation Range: 4,600 - 8,340 feet (1,402 - 2,542 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Gilia haydenii in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2017, COMaP).
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Distribution of Gilia haydenii in Colorado.
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: Utah (Garfield, Grand, and San Juan counties), Colorado (Dolores, La Plata, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose counties) , and New Mexico (McKinley, Rio Arriba, and San Juan counties; USDA NRCS 2017). Also documented in Apache County, Arizona (NatureServe 2017).
State range: Known from Dolores, La Plata, Mesa, Montrose and Montezuma counties.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Recreational use, grazing, and competition from non-native plants are the primary potential threats to this species in Colorado. Bromus tectorum and Melilotus officinale have been found in or near several occurrences. Colorado climate scenarios for 2050 suggest temperature will increase by 3-7 F and precipitation may decrease or increase. The impact to any given rare plant habitat is likely to vary. Long-term monitoring that includes weather and soil moisture data is critical to understanding climate impacts.

[+] References

    • Albee, B.J., L.M. Shultz, and S. Goodrich. 1988. Atlas of the vascular plants of Utah. Utah Museum Natural History Occasional Publication 7, Salt Lake City, Utah. 670 pp.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program and the Geospatial Centroid. 2017. The Colorado Ownership and Protection Map (COMaP). Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO.
    • Cronquist, A., A.H. Holmgren, N.H. Holmgren, J.L. Reveal, and P.K. Holmgren. 1984. Intermountain Flora: Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 4, Subclass Asteridae (except Asteraceae). New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 573 pp.
    • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 666 pp.
    • Heil, K.D, S.L. O'Kane Jr., L.M. Reeves, and A. Clifford. 2013. Flora of the Four Corners Region. Vascular Plants of the San Juan River Drainage: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, Vol. 124, Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, MO. xvi + 1098 pp.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    • Schneider, A. 2017. Wildflowers, ferns, and trees of the Four Corners regions of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Online:
    • USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, PLANTS Database [USDA PLANTS]. Accessed 2017.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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