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Aliciella haydenii

Aliciella haydenii

Aliciella haydenii subspecies crandalliiSynonym: Gilia haydenii (Hayden's Gilia)
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)
Foothills. Openings. Spring, summer, fall.
Mesa Verde National Park, June 1, 2013 and May 20, 2012.

Aliciella haydenii
Aliciella haydenii subspecies crandallii.  Synonym: Gilia haydenii  (Hayden's Gilia)
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)
 

Foothills. Openings. Spring, summer, fall.
(Above) Mesa Verde National Park, May 8, 2004.

This lovely Phlox grows on barren, hot Mancos Shale defying human conceptions about what environments are good for life and beauty.  Flowers are 6-10 mm long in an open panicle spray at the top of a swaying 8 to 15 inch slender stalk. Notice the typical scalloped, basal rosette of leaves at the bottom of the flower stalks and behind the ruler. (See Gilia ophthalmoides and Ipomopsis aggregata.)

Townshend Brandegee made the discovery of this plant on the Hayden Survey of 1874 in Colorado.  In Brandegee's "Flora of Southwestern Colorado" report, appended to the Hayden Survey report of 1876, he said of the plant, "[It is] a handsome species common upon the mesas of the Mancos [River]...." 

In 1876 Asa Gray named the plant Gilia haydenii, the specific epithet honoring the very popular Ferdinand Hayden, head of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, 1867-1879.  (More biographical information about Hayden.)

Click to read the story of Gilia and Aliciella. As explained in the link, the genus name of this plant was changed in the late 20th century from Gilia to Aliciella, honoring Alice Eastwood.   (More biographical information about Eastwood.)

Aliciella haydenii

Aliciella haydenii subspecies haydenii

Aliciella haydenii

Aliciella haydenii

Aliciella haydenii subspecies crandallii and subspecies haydenii.  Synonym: Gilia haydenii.  (Hayden's Gilia and Crandall's Gilia)
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)

Both subspecies of Aliciella haydenii flower in the spring and very early summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, May 8, 2004, Gateway area, May 12, 2012, and Mesa Verde, May 20, 2012.

The first and second photographs at left show the primary differences between the two subspecies: tubes of subspecies crandallii are longer, tubes are broader toward the tip, and the lobes are longer.

The third and fourth photographs show the symmetrical basal rosette and its myriad of branched hairs.

Aliciella haydenii

Aliciella haydenii

Aliciella haydenii subspecies crandallii.  Synonym: Gilia haydenii  (Hayden's Gilia)
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)

Foothills. Openings. Spring, summer, fall.
Highway 160 near Mesa Verde National Park, June 3, 2004.

The hillside pictured in the two photographs at left is normally a barren Mancos Shale gray. It is usually dotted with just a few species, including Aliciella haydenii. But with just the right conditions, Aliciella haydenii explodes with a spectacular display.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Questionable presence

Range map for Aliciella haydenii subspecies crandallii

Aliciella haydenii subspecies hayceniii

Range map for Aliciella haydenii subspecies haydenii