chris lund's picture

Unknown plant

Observed: 19th July 2011 By: chris lund
unknown plant

height approx 18 inches. leaves finely pinnatisect. 5 petals, appear to be united halfway down. 5 stamens alternating with petals, joining petals halfway down. ovary superior, single fine style, divided into 3 at end.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Dryopithecus's picture

What's this doing in a wildflower mix?

This certainly looks like it! but what's a native of California doing in a wildflower mix?

"Gilia tricolor (Bird's-eyes) is an annual plant native to the Central Valley and foothills of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges in California."


chris lund's picture

indeed, whats this doing in a

indeed, whats this doing in a wildflower mix? no wonder my copy of clapham/tutin/warburg's excursion flora of the british isles drew a blank! It does look like Gilia tricolor, a US native, but the distribution map suggests its been found in Norway, a garden escape?

Dryopithecus's picture

also in the UK

According to the NBN gateway, Gilia tricolor has also been recorded in North Kent, near Swanley.


Tiggrx's picture

Many non-native plants appear

Many non-native plants appear in wild flower seed mixes. I have even seen American wild flower mixes sold in the UK, including ones designed to attract hummingbirds.

Dryopithecus's picture

Wildflower mixes

I believe the planting of non-native plants in the wild is illegal in the UK. If, as seems the case, the regulations permit the inclusion of non-native plants in wildflower mixes, this implies that these aren't intended to be planted in the wild, which seems counter-intuitive.

Clearly, either the regulations need amending or the packets should carry a prominent warning to the effect that the seeds may only be planted in gardens and the plants not allowed to escape into the wild.

In any case, it seems people should be more careful where they sprinkle these seeds. A plant in an allotment isn't actually in the wild, but it's only a short step from the wild.