CPC Plant Profile: Pagosa Skyrocket
Search / Plant Profile / Ipomopsis polyantha var. polyantha
Plant Profile

Pagosa Skyrocket (Ipomopsis polyantha var. polyantha)

  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Polemoniaceae
  • State: AZ, CO
  • Nature Serve ID: 135248
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/08/1989

Pagosa ipomopsis is an herbaceous perennial or possibly biennial that is a member of the Phlox Family. This species was first discovered and collected in 1899 by Charles Fuller Baker. It was originally described by Rydberg (1904) as Gilia polyantha and later moved into the genus Ipomopsis by Grant (1956). Until Pagosa ipomopsis was documented in threatened and endangered species survey work, the species was collected only nine times at three known occurrences (Anderson 2004). Pagosa ipomopsis flowers in axillary clusters along the stems and branches from late May to early August, producing white flowers with purple dots and short tubes with flaring lobes. Occasionally, these dots give the flower a pinkish or purplish color because of their density. The leaves are pinnatifid or deeply toothed with linear leaflets scattered up the stem. This species produces seeds once followed by the death of the entire plant (Anderson 1988 and 2004, Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2003, and Spackman 1997). Ipomopsis polyantha has been listed as a candidate species on the Federal Endangered Species List since 2005 and it is a former Category 2 species between 1985 and 1996 (USFWS 2007).

Participating Institutions
CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.
  • 09/16/2020
  • Genetic Research

Phylogenetic relationships within Ipomopsis has been researched by Drs. J. Mark Porter, Leigh Johnson, and Dieter Wilken by using DNA sequences (of both nuclear and chloroplast DNA) (Anderson 2004). -

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Occurs in the Kaibab Plateau of Arizona south to central Arizona and irregularly to southwest Colorado and southern New Mexico (Intermountain Flora, Cronquist et al. 1984).

Akiko Okawado
  • 01/01/2010

Threats include development of residential and commercial property, livestock grazing, invasion of exotic species, grand disturbance on highway rights-of-way, effects of small population size, recreation, wildflower gathering, global climate change, and p

Akiko Okawado
  • 01/01/2010

Only three occurrences are known. The total population is estimated to be between 2,246 and 10,626+ plants as of 2003 (Anderson 2004).

Akiko Okawado
  • 01/01/2010

- Two other taxa have been included within Ipomopsis polyantha as synonyms: Gilia polyantha var. brachysiphon and G. polyantha var. whitingii (Kearney and Peebles 1943). It is treated as such in Kartesz (1999) and in the PLANTS database (USDA National Resource Conservation Service 2003). Recent taxonomic research suggests that neither brachysiphon nor whitingii should be treated as infraspecific taxa under I. polyantha (Anderson 2004). Porter et al. (2003) included whitingii, but not brachysiphon, in their phylogenetic analysis of Ipomopsis. Also, whitingii does not seem to be closely related to I. polyantha. Consequentially, the most current data sources available indicate that I. polyantha is a distinct species (Anderson 2004). - Phylogenetic relationships within Ipomopsis has been researched by Drs. J. Mark Porter, Leigh Johnson, and Dieter Wilken by using DNA sequences (of both nuclear and chloroplast DNA) (Anderson 2004). - Characteristics of Ipomopsis polyantha most closely resemble stress-tolerant ruderal species in the Competitive/Stress-Tolerant/Ruderal model (Grime 2001).

Akiko Okawado
  • 01/01/2010

There are no formal management plans being drafted specifically for the management, protection, or conservation of this species.

Akiko Okawado
  • 01/01/2010

Understanding all aspects of this species' ecology and biology, including - Monitoring its habitat and population, - Species inventory work, - Demographic studies, - And studying seed longevity and dormancy.

Akiko Okawado
  • 01/01/2010

- Translocation - Seed collection and storage


Be the first to post an update!

Taxon Ipomopsis polyantha var. polyantha
Authority (Rydb.) V.E. Grant
Family Polemoniaceae
CPC Number 2320
ITIS 31215
Common Names Archuleta County Standing-cypress | Pagosa ipomopsis | Pagosa skyrocket
Associated Scientific Names Ipomopsis polyantha var. polyantha | Gilia brachysiphon | Gilia polyantha | Gilia polyantha var. whitingii
Distribution Pagosa ipomopsis is a narrow endemic of a 13-mile range on outcrops of Upper Cretaceous Mancos Shale in Archuleta County, Colorado. It is also restricted to some private land and highway rights-of-wa
State Rank
State State Rank
Arizona S2
Colorado SNR

This species is restricted to fine-textured soil from the Mancos Formation. It appears on barren shale; or in ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper or oak forested areas (Spackman 1997). Highest densities are found under ponderosa forests with montane grassland understory. The pH is nearly neutral to slightly alkaline (6.6-8.4). Elev. 6,800-7,300 ft. (Anderson 2004).

Ecological Relationships

- Visitation and pollination by a broad range of small and medium-small bees and beeflies were observed at three sites in the Pagosa Springs area in 1992 and 1993 (Collins, 1995). - Several observations have stated that occurrences were evidently extirpated after continuous grazing (Collins 1995 and Sovell et al. 2003). Some studies indicate that the production of flowers, fruits and seeds are significantly impacted by browsing and grazing (Juenger and Bergelson 2000).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

Donate to CPC to Save this Species

CPC secures rare plants for future generations by coordinating on-the-ground conservation and training the next generation of plant conservation professionals. Donate today to help save rare plants from extinction.

Donate Today