Ipomopsis globularis
Author: (Brand) W.A. Weber

Globe gilia

Polemoniaceae (phlox family)

Close up of Ipomopsis globularis by Susan Panjabi.

Close up of Ipomopsis globularis by Steve Olson.
Close up of Ipomopsis globularis by Dave Elin.

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G2
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

Description and Phenology

Ipomopsis globularis by Sharon Garrett.

General description: Ipomopsis globularis is a perennial herb growing 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) tall. Leaves are pinnately lobed, and the lobes are narrowly linear. The larger leaves are basal, but there are a few smaller leaves on the stems. Stems are densely woolly. Flowers are in terminal, ball-like, wooly clusters. Flowers are pale purple and have a strong fragrance (Spackman et al. 1997, FNA 1993+).

Look Alikes: There are no similar appearing plants on calcareous alpine habitats (Panjabi and Anderson 2005).

Phenology: Flowers from July to early August (Panjabi and Anderson 2005). Fruits are apparent into late August (Spackman et al. 1997).


Habitat of Ipomopsis globularis by Susan Panjabi.

Ipomopsis globularis is found on alpine ridges with gravelly, calcareous soil. Habitats are described as meadows, talus, and scree slopes, often with 50 percent bare soil. Plants have been seen on abandoned mine spoils. Sites are underlain by Leadville limestone and Manitou limestone formations (Panjabi and Anderson 2005). Populations occur on all aspects and flat to very steep slopes. Frequently associated species of Ipomopsis globularis include Geum rossii, Artemisia scopulorum, Bistorta bistortoides, Campanula uniflora, Castilleja occidentalis, Deschampsia cespitosa, Elymus trachycaulus, Lloydia serotina, Oxytropis splendens, Pedicularis scopulorum, Polemonium viscosum, and Silene acaulis (Panjabi and Anderson 2005).

Elevation Range: 10,649 - 13,507 feet (3,246 - 4,117 meters)


Colorado endemic: Yes
Global range: Endemic to the Mosquito Range in central Colorado; known from Lake, Park, and Summit counties. Estimated range is 284 square kilometers (110 square miles), calculated in 2008 by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences.
Distribution of Ipomopsis globularis in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2015, COMaP v9). Land Trust is less than 1%.

Distribution of Ipomopsis globularis in Colorado.

Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Ipomopsis globularis based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be “Moderately Conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.

The primary threat at this time is considered to be motorized recreation (Rondeau et al. 2011). Other potential threats are from mining, exotic species invasion, effects of small population size, collection for horticultural trade, non-motorized recreation, global climate change, and pollution. Motorized recreation is rapidly increasing in areas where this species grows, and it is extremely difficult to enforce regulations or to close access to protect populations. The entire global range of I. globularis is vulnerable to mining development; however, the scale and time frame within which mining activity might occur is unknown. Historic mining is widely evident in this species' habitat. Land ownership patterns are extremely complex within the range of I. globularis and even within individual occurrences. Despite its narrow range, this species is found on lands administered by three ranger districts on two national forests (South Park and Leadville of the Pike-San Isabel, and Dillon of the Arapaho as administered by the White River), and hundreds if not thousands of private landowners. These complex land ownership patterns make conservation efforts difficult. (Spackman Panjabi and Anderson 2005).

From Steve Olson (USFS Pike San Isabel) 2012: Threats to Ipomopsis globularis may include unregulated recreation (motorized and non-motorized), collecting (for rock-gardens), mining, non-native invasive species, pollution, and climate change (NatureServe 2012, Panjabi and Anderson 2005). All or part of one large population is protected by the Hoosier Ridge Research Natural Area. This species appears to be somewhat tolerant of disturbance.


    • Ackerfield, J. 2015. Flora of Colorado. Brit Press, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, TX. 818 pp.
    • Colorado Native Plant Society. 1989. Rare plants of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Colorado Native Plant Society, Estes Park, Colorado. 73 pp.
    • 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.
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    • Panjabi, S.S. and D.G. Anderson (2005, March 15). Ipomopsis globularis (Brand) W.A. Weber (Hoosier Pass ipomopsis): a technical conservation assessment. [Online]. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp/assessments/ipomopsisglobularis.pdf [March 2006].
    • 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.
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    • USDA, NRCS. 2015. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 555 pp.
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