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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Polygonaceae

5. Gilmania Coville, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 26: 210. 1936.
[name proposed for conservation]

Golden carpet [for M. French Gilman, 1871-1944, Death Valley naturalist]

James L. Reveal

Phyllogonum Coville, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 4: 190, plate 21. 1893, name proposed for rejection

Herbs, annual; taproot slender. Stems arising directly from the root, spreading to decumbent or prostrate, solid, not fistulose or disarticulating into ringlike segments, glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Leaves quickly deciduous, basal and cauline, in whorls of 3; petiole present only at proximal nodes; blade oblong to broadly elliptic or obovate, margins entire. Inflorescences terminal, cymose; branches mostly dichotomous, not brittle or disarticulating into segments, round, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; bracts absent. Peduncles absent. Involucral bracts absent. Flowers 3-9 per node at any single time during full anthesis; perianth yellow, broadly campanulate when open, narrowly urceolate when closed, thinly pubescent abaxially; tepals 6, connate proximally, monomorphic, entire apically; stamens 9; filaments basally adnate, pilose basally; anthers yellow, ovate. Achenes included, brown, not winged, 3-gonous, glabrous. Seeds: embryo curved.

Species 1: California.

Gilmania is restricted to the valley edges and low mountains surrounding Death Valley in Inyo County. In a “good” year, tens of millions of plants carpet the area, giving the edge of the valley a ring of golden yellow. Each individual produces thousands of flowers, and seed set in the plush years is enormous, thereby assuring long-term survival even in this harsh environment. The genus is allied to Eriogonum subg. Ganysma.


Reveal, J. L. 2004. Proposal to conserve the name Gilmania Coville against Phyllogonum Coville (Polygonaceae: Eriogonoideae)—A case of mistaken homonymy. Taxon 53: 573.

Lower Taxon


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