Regularity: Regularly occurring
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable
Polemonium eximium is a species of flowering plant in the genus which includes the Jacob's Ladders. Its common name is skypilot. It is endemic to the Sierra Nevada in California where it grows in the talus of the high mountain slopes. It occurs at elevations between 3,000 and 4,200 metres (9,800 and 13,800 ft) where few other plants grow.
This perennial herb forms clumps of erect stems approaching 40 centimetres (16 in) in maximum height. Surrounding the stems are nearly cylindrical leaves each made up of many leaflets, the leaflets subdivided into lobes. The herbage is hairy and glandular in texture. The showy inflorescence is a headlike cluster of several flowers. Each flower has a tubular calyx of hairy sepals and a funnel-shaped corolla in shades of pale to bright or deep blue with a whitish throat. The flowers are at full bloom for approximately one day in the very short period of appropriate flowering conditions. The plant has a strong scent reminiscent of urine which attracts pollinators to its short-lived flowers.
- The Outdoors Digest Field Guide - Sky Pilot. Los Angeles Times.
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