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Island Snapdragon
Gambelia speciosa
About Island Snapdragon (Gambelia speciosa) Nurseries Show All Photos Island Snapdragon is a somewhat vine-like perennial plant native to the Channel Islands of California and Guadalupe Island, Mexico. It has trumpet-shaped red flowers which attract birds, especially hummingbirds. Under the right conditions it can bloom almost year round.

Island Snapdragon is easy to grow, fast growing and beautiful perennial widely available in native California nurseries. It prefers sun or part shade (more shade inland), but you will get more flowers in full sun. It likes rocky slopes and seaside conditions and will tolerate a variety of soils. It tolerates occasional summer water, up to 2x per month. Good in containers. It was formerly categorized under the genus Galvezia and some sources still list it that way. 'Firecraker' is a popular horitcultural variety.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1 - 3.3 ft (0.3 - 1 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)



Growth Rate


Bright green, elliptical, somewhat thick

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky slopes, bluffs, canyons and coastal terraces of the Channel Islands among coastal sage scrub

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
7' - 1789'

Annual Precip. ?
8.1" - 13.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 0.26"

Coldest Month ?
53.2° F - 57.3° F

Hottest Month ?
65.2° F - 73.0° F

Humidity ?
1.55 vpd - 16.63 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 30° F

Companion Plants
Island companion plants include Santa Cruz Island Ironwood (Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. asplenifolius), Island Live Oak (Quercus tometella), Tree Poppy (Dendromecon harfordii), Island Bristleweed (Hazardia detonsa), Redflower Buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens), Catalina Cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii), and Giant Coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea). Other chaparral and sage scrub companions include California Encelia (Encelia californica), California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica), Bladderpod (Peritoma arborea), and Ceanothus spp

Wildlife Attracted
Birds, especially hummingbirds, and various insects

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Since it tends to be viney, it can be cut back whenever stems get too lengthy. Don't cut back into the woody portion.

Propagation ?
Seeds or cuttings.  For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Common uses
Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Galvezia speciosa

Common Names
Galvezia, Showy Greenbright

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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