Ipomopsis polyantha
Author: (Rydb.) V. Grant

Pagosa skyrocket

Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)

Close up of Ipomopsis polyantha by Sara Brinton
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Close up of Ipomopsis polyantha by Sara Brinton
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Close up of Ipomopsis polyantha by Steve O'Kane
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Ranks and Status

Global rank: G1
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: USFWS Endangered
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Please see 1997 profile

General description: Herbaceous biennial, over 20 cm tall.  Flowers are white or with pink highlights, and are located in axillary clusters along the stems and branches.  Corolla is short tubular, and stamens are strongly exserted.  Leaves are pinnatifid or deeply toothed (Spackman et al. 1997).

Look Alikes: Not likely to be confused with any other species in the same habitat and range in Colorado (Spackman et al. 1997).

Phenology: Plants produce flowers and fruit late May through early August. Since the plants are most conspicuous during flowering, the best inventory period is late May to late July (Anderson 1988).

[+] Habitat

Habitat of Ipomopsis polyantha by Sara Brinton
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Habitat of Ipomopsis polyantha by Sara Brinton
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In Colorado, on rocky clay soils of the Mancos Shale in the southern San Juan Mountains, typically on road shoulders where the soil has been disturbed. Highest densities are under Pinus ponderosa forests with montane grassland understory (Anderson 2004, Anderson 1988). Associated taxa include: Purshia tridentata, Hymenopappus filifolius, Packera neomexicana, Frasera speciosa, Heterotheca villosa, Rosa woodsii, Artemisia spp., Mahonia repens, and Achnatherum hymenoides. 

Elevation Range: 6,765 - 7,362 feet (2,062 - 2,244 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Ipomopsis polyantha in Colorado.
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Colorado endemic: Yes
Global range: Known from Archuleta County in southern Colorado. Estimated range is 48 square kilometers, calculated in 2008 by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Ipomopsis polyantha based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be "under conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
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Residential and commercial developments are considered to be the primary threats to the species at this time (Anderson 2004, Rondeau et al. 2011). The species is also threatened by livestock grazing, exotic species invasion, right-of-way management, effects of small population size, recreation, wildflower gathering, global climate change, and pollution. The entire global range of I. polyantha is planned for residential development in the Archuleta County Community Plan. Ipomopsis polyantha does not tolerate livestock grazing and is thus largely limited to highway rights-of-way. Given the serious nature of the threats to I. polyantha, it is among the most endangered species in Colorado (Anderson 2004).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Anderson, D. G. 2004. Ipomopsis polyantha (Rydberg) V. Grant (Pagosa ipomopsis): a technical conservation assessment. [Online]. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp/assessments/ipomopsispolyantha.pdf (accessed December 21, 2004)
    • Anderson, J. 1988. Status report for Ipomopsis polyantha var polyantha. Unpublished report prepared for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Junction, CO.
    • Colorado Native Plant Society. 1989. Rare plants of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Colorado Native Plant Society, Estes Park, Colorado. 73 pp.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2005. The Second Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: Evening Presentation Minutes.
    • Isberg, Karl. 1992. Rare plant species found south of town. Pagosa Springs Sun. Vol. 83 no. 40. Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, Co 84147.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    • Kearney, T.H., R.H. Peebles, and collaborators. 1951. Arizona flora. 2nd edition with Supplement (1960) by J.T. Howell, E. McClintock, and collaborators. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 1085 pp.
    • Kurzel, B. 2009. Unpublished report on Ipomopsis polyantha monitoring.
    • Neely, B., S. Panjabi, E. Lane, P. Lewis, C. Dawson, A. Kratz, B. Kurzel, T. Hogan, J. Handwerk, S. Krishnan, J. Neale, and N. Ripley. 2009. Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Strategy, Developed by the Colorado Rare Plant conservation Initiative. The Nature Conservancy, Boulder, Colorado, 117 pp.
    • Porter, J. M., L. A. Johnson, and D. Wilken. 2003. Phylogenetics and Systematics of Ipomopsis (Polemoniaceae) I: Phylogenetic Estimates using Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Sequences. Manuscript to be published in Aliso. 62pp.
    • Porter, J.M., L.A. Johnson, and D. Wilken. 2010. Phylogenetic systematics of Ipomopsis (Polemoniaceae): Relationships and divergence times estimated from chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences. Systematic Botany 35(1):181-200.
    • Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists. 2009. RARE Imperiled Plants of Colorado, a traveling art exhibition. Exhibition catalogue developed by the Denver Botanic Gardens and Steamboat Art Museum.
    • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz, and C. Spurrier. 1997. Colorado rare plant field guide. Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Colorado Natural Heritage Program.
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Species assessment and listing priority assignment form. Ipomopsis ployantha. 8 pp.
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2010. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Ipomopsis polyantha (Pagosa Skyrocket) as Endangered Throughout Its Range, and Listing Penstemon debilis (Parachute Beardtougue) and Phacelia submutica (DeBeque Phacelia) as Threatened Throughout Their Range. Proposed Rule. Federal Register 75(120):35721-35746.
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2011. Determination of Endangered Status for Ipomopsis polyantha (Pagosa Skyrocket) and Threatened Status for Penstemon debilis (Parachute Beardtongue) and Phacelia submutica. Federal Register 76(145): 45054-45075.
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2005. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species that are Candidates or Proposed for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions; Proposed Rule. Federal Register 70(90):24870-24934. May 11, 2005.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.

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