Regularity: Regularly occurring
Comments: Open, steep, rocky talus slopes and rock ledges within Subalpine Coniferous Forest communities and rock outcrops on summits and ridges within Alpine Fell-field communities. Associated species sometimes include Erigeron compositus, Hulsea algida, and Ivesia gordonii, but often grows alone. 1800 - 4250 m.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Known only from approximately 12 occurrences in California and 1 in Nevada (California Department of Fish and Game 2000; Morefield 2001). Locations are in the Klamath Ranges, Sweetwater Mountains, and the White and Inyo Mountains (Hickman 1993). Disjunct occurrences in northern California may be taxonomically distinct from those in the transmontane (CNPS 2001).
Comments: Mining and grazing are potential threats (California Department of Fish and Game 2000).
Polemonium chartaceum is a rare species of flowering plant in the phlox family known by the common names Mason's Jacob's-ladder and Mason's sky pilot. It is native to California, where it has a disjunct distribution. It occurs in the Klamath Mountains as well as the ranges east of the Sierra Nevada, including the White Mountains, where its distribution extends just into Nevada. It is a plant of high elevations, growing in exposed, rocky mountain slope habitat such as talus and alpine fellfields.
This is a perennial herb producing a small clump of a few erect stems reaching 20 centimeters in maximum height. Leaves clustered around the base of the stems are cylindrical bunches of many small, glandular leaflets. Each leaflet is deeply divided into lobes, making it appear like several leaflets growing together. The inflorescence is a headlike cluster of several flowers atop the short, stout stem. Each flower has a tubular calyx of densely hairy sepals and a five-lobed corolla in shades of pale blue with a whitish or yellowish throat.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Disjunct occurrences in northern California may be taxonomically distinct from those in the transmontane (CNPS 2001). The results of Pritchett and Patterson (1998) suggest that populations from the Klamath Range form a distinct morphological entity.
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