Pagosa skyrocket (Ipomopsis polyantha)
Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND
Ipomopsis polyantha is a rare plant endemic to shale outcrops in and around the Town of Pagosa Springs in Archuleta County, Colorado. The species is in the Polemoniaceae (phlox) family and was originally described by Rydberg (1904, p. 634) as Gilia polyantha. Two varieties, G. polyantha var. brachysiphon and G. polyantha var. whitingii, were recognized by Kearney and Peebles (1943, p. 59). Grant (1956, p. 353) moved the species into the genus Ipomopsis. Currently available information indicates that I. polyantha is a distinct species (Porter and Johnson 2000, p. 76; Porter et al. 2010, pp. 195, 196, 199). It is treated as such in the PLANTS database (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) 2003), and in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (2001). Reports of this species occurring in Arizona and New Mexico by the PLANTS National Database and State floras actually pertain to the two species that were formerly treated as varieties of Ipomopsis polyantha (Anderson 2004, pp. 11, 15). Ipomopsis polyantha is an herbaceous biennial 12 to 24 inches (in) (30 to 60 centimeters (cm)) tall, branched from near the base above the basal rosette of leaves. Deeply divided leaves with linear segments are scattered up the stem. Stems and flower clusters are covered with glandular hairs. Flower clusters are along the stem in the axils of the leaves as well as at the top of the stem. The white flowers are 0.4 in (1 cm) long, with short corolla tubes 0.18 to 0.26 in (0.45 to 0.65 cm) long, and flaring corolla lobes flecked with purple dots (Anderson 1988, p. 3). These dots are often so dense that they give the flower a pinkish or purplish hue. The stamens extend noticeably beyond the flower tube, and the pollen is blue (Grant 1956, p. 353), changing to yellow as it matures (Collins 1995, p. 34). Seeds form a mucilaginous (secreting sticky mucous) coat after they are wet. Seeds germinate much faster in Mancos Shale soil than in potting soil (Collins 1995, p. 72). Mature seeds germinate to form rosettes that produce flowering stalks during the next growing season, or they may persist as rosettes for a year or more until conditions are right for flowering. Plants produce abundant fruits and seeds, but have no known mechanism for long-distance dispersal (Collins 1995, pp. 111–112). After seeds are mature, the plants dry up and die. We do not know how long the seeds remain viable.
This species is listed wherever it is found, but
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|08/26/2011||Mountain-Prairie Region (Region 6)|
» RecoveryRecovery Plan Information Search
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|01/23/2013||RECOVERY OUTLINE: Pagosa skyrocket (Ipomopsis polyantha)||Recovery efforts in progress, but no implementation information yet to display||Outline|
» Critical Habitat
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type||Status|
|08/13/2012||77 FR 48367 48418||Designation of Critical Habitat for Ipomopsis polyantha (Pagosa skyrocket), Penstemon debilis (Parachute beardtongue), and Phacelia submutica (DeBeque phacelia); Final Rule||Final Rule||Final designated|
|07/27/2011||76 FR 45078 45128||Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Ipomopsis polyantha (Pagosa skyrocket), Penstemon debilis (Parachute beardtongue), and Phacelia submutica (DeBeque phacelia); Proposed Rule||Proposed Rule||Not Required|
To learn more about critical habitat please see http://criticalhabitat.fws.gov
» Conservation Plans
No conservation plans have been created for Pagosa skyrocket
No petition findings have been published for the Pagosa skyrocket.
» Life History
Ipomopsis polyantha is limited to Pagosa-Winifred soils derived from Mancos Shale. The soil pH is nearly neutral to slightly alkaline (6.6 to 8.4). The elevation range is 6,750 to 7,775 feet (ft) (2,050 to 2,370 meters (m)) (Service 2011c, p. 1). Plants occur in discontinuous colonies as a pioneer species on open shale or as a climax species along the edge of Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa pine), mixed P. ponderosa and Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky mountain juniper), or Juniperus. osteosperma (Utah juniper) and Quercus gambellii (Gambel oak) forested areas. In 1988, Anderson (p. 7) reported finding the highest densities under P. ponderosa forests with montane grassland understory. Now the species is found mostly on sites that are infrequently disturbed by grazing, such as road right-of-ways (ROWs) that are fenced from grazing (as opposed to open range), lightly grazed pastures, and undeveloped lots (Anderson 2004, p. 20).
Movement / Home Range
The two known occurrences of Ipomopsis polyantha are within about 13 miles (mi) (21 kilometers (km)) of each other, and collectively occupy about 388.4 acres (ac) (157.1 hectares (ha)) of habitat within a range that includes about 6.5 square mi (16.8 square km). The Pagosa Springs occurrence is southeast of the Town of Pagosa Springs along both sides of U.S. 84. Occupied habitat extends southward on the highway ROW for 3 mi (4.8 km) from the intersection with U.S. 160, and on private lands on both sides of the highway. The Dyke occurrence is about 10 mi (16 km) west of Pagosa Springs along U.S. Highway 160. It includes 0.5 mi (0.8 km) of highway ROW on both sides of U.S. 160, adjacent private land, and a BLM parcel.
Pollination by bees is the most common means of reproduction for Ipomopsis polyantha, and the primary pollinators are the honey bee (Apis mellifera), metallic green bee (Augochlorella spp.), bumble bee (Bombus spp.), and digger bee (Anthophora spp.) (Collins 1995, pp. 71–72).
» Other Resources
NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.