logo Calflora, a 501c3 non-profit
Taxon  Report  
Ipomopsis aggregata  (Pursh) V. E. Grant
Scarlet gilia
Ipomopsis aggregata is a perennial herb that is native to California, and also found elsewhere in western North America.
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial

Bloom Period
Subspecies and Varieties:
Genus: Ipomopsis
Family: Polemoniaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Dicot
Jepson eFlora section: eudicot

Communities: Yellow Pine Forest, Red Fir Forest, Lodgepole Forest, Subalpine Forest, Bristle-cone Pine Forest, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Information about  Ipomopsis aggregata from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
This plant is available commercially.
Jepson eFlora


Photos on Calflora

Photos on CalPhotos

Google Images

Photos on iNaturalist

ID Tips on PlantID.net

[Wikipedia] Description, Taxonomy, Distribution, Ecology, Research, Uses: Ipomopsis aggregata is a species of biennial flowering plant in the phlox family, Polemoniaceae, commonly known as scarlet trumpet,[citation needed] scarlet gilia,[1] or skyrocket because of its scarlet red flowers with lobes curving back as if blown back by rocketing through the air.[2] Description Ipomopsis aggregata has characteristic red, trumpet-shaped flowers and basal leaves stemming from a single erect stem. Depending on elevation, height can range from 12 inches, in Rocky Mountain alpine areas, to over 5 feet, in areas of southern Texas. Trumpet flowers can range from white, red, orange-red, and pink.[1] Pink flowers are especially common in high mesa areas of Colorado, such as the Flat Tops, Grand Mesa, or the Uncompahgre Plateau. Yellow flowers have been reported for plant but are extremely rare. Fernlike leaves are low to the ground, helping encourage warmth in colder areas, and have silver specks and a fine white pubescence. A well known delicacy in nature, Ipomopsis aggregata is well adapted to herbivory, as it can regrow multiple flowering stalks once lost. Although herbivory initially reduces seed and fruit count of the plant, intermediate herbivory and its stimulating factors could lead to the plant growing larger over time. Elk and mule deer are common herbivores on Ipomopsis aggregata. In its first year, the plant appears as a cluster of distinctive leaves, which collect energy into the taproot, from which it rapidly grows in its second year.[1] Ipomopsis aggregata young plant Synonyms Synonyms include: Cantua aggregata Pursh Gilia aggregata (Pursh) Spreng. Chemistry Patuletin glycosides can be found in I. aggregata as well as eupalitin and eupatolitin.[3] Taxonomy Since its description in 1814 by Frederick Pursh, the plant has undergone many name modifications. The current scientific name of "Ipomopsis", Latin for "similar to Ipomoea" or morning glories, refers to its similarities between the morning glories' similar red tubular flowers. "Aggregata", "brought together" in Latin refers to its petal growing pattern. Common names include scarlet gilia, scarlet trumpet, and skyrocket. The potent smell from glands within its basal leaf formations grant it the name skunk flower. In some areas it is also called honeysuckle, owing to the shape of the flower and the droplet of nectar that can be enjoyed by picking off the flower and sucking it out of the basal end. The common name of Gilia (once a component of its scientific name) is pronounced "Jee-lee-uh", an Italian pronunciation, after its original namesake, Italian scientist and clergyman Filippo Luigi Gilii. Distribution Ipomopsis aggregata is native to western North America, growing mainly in mountains in the west-central to western regions and ranging from British Columbia to Mexico.[4] Ecology Ipomopsis aggregata is pollinated most commonly by long-tongued moths and hummingbirds, although others can be seen. Basal leaves overwinter, even in subalpine areas of the Rocky Mountains. The plant blooms in late spring to early summer, and into fall if weather conditions are favorable. Optimal growing conditions include little water, part shade, and sandy soil. Although defined as hermaphroditic, Ipomopsis aggregata has shown sex allocation in flowering months, with phenotypic sex reaching a proportion of 0.77 female components to male. Current research The plant is currently being used to better understand pollination factors. Researchers used fluorescent particles on flowers to create pollen analogs to track pollinating hummingbirds. This ultimately gains insight into cross pollination techniques carried out by pollinating bodies. Further, it is a model for pollinator-mediated selection and spatial genetic patterns.[5] Uses Some Plateau Indian tribes boiled it as a drink for kidney health.[6] (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2023. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 11/28/2023).