Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable

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Wikipedia

Polemonium eximium

Polemonium eximium (skypilot[1] or showy sky pilot[2]) is a perennial plant in the phlox family (Polemoniaceae) that grows at high altitudes (mostly above 10,000 feet (3,000 m)).[3] It is endemic to the Sierra Nevada in California where it grows in the talus of the high mountain slopes.[3][4]

Wildflower enthusiasts consider it to be among the best of the Sierra wildflowers, and highly rewarding to find.[3]

Habitat and range[edit]

It mostly occurs at elevations from 10,000 to 14,000 feet (3,000 to 4,300 m) in the Central and Southern Sierra Nevadas.[3][5] It mostly occurs in colonies in stark surroundings, above 10,000 feet (3,000 m), in rocky areas that appear mostly devoid of soil, and rarely in association with other plants.[3]

It can be found near Kearsarge Pass in the Inyo National Forest, and near the summit of Mount Dana in Yosemite National Park.[3]

Description[edit]

Growth pattern[edit]

It is a sticky, musky smelling 4 to 16 inches (10 to 41 cm) tall perennial plant with a woody base from, which grows clumps of erect stems .[5]

Leaves and stems[edit]

Surrounding the stems are nearly cylindrical sticky leaves, 14 inch (6.4 mm) long, are each made up of 3–5 leaflets,[5] which in turn are subdivided into lobes.[6] The herbage is hairy and glandular in texture.[6]

Inflorescence and fruit[edit]

The showy inflorescence is a crowded head of several flowers.[5] The bright deep blue to whitish-blue to pink-lavender flowers are fragrant.[3] Each flower has a tubular calyx of hairy sepals and a funnel-shaped corolla spreading to f lobes, in shades of pale to bright or deep blue with a whitish[citation needed] throat.[5] The flowers are at full bloom for approximately one day in the very short period of appropriate flowering conditions.[7] The plant has a strong scent reminiscent of urine which attracts pollinators to its short-lived flowers.[7] It blooms from July to August.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Polemonium eximium". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Taxon Report 6714, Polemonium eximium". Calflora. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, Elizabeth Horn, Mountain Press Publishing Co., ISBN 0878423885, 1998, p. 126
  4. ^ Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, Karen Wiese, 2nd ed., 2013
  5. ^ a b c d e f Philip A. Munz (2003). Dianne Lake; Phyllis M. Faber, eds. Introduction to California Mountain Wildflowers. University of California Press. ISBN 0520236351. 
  6. ^ a b "Polemonium eximium". Jepson Flora Project. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b The Outdoors Digest Field Guide - Sky Pilot. Los Angeles Times.
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