Scarlet Gilia (Skyrocket)
Synonym: Gilia aggregata
Family: Polemoniaceae - Phlox Family
Biennial or perennial herbs from taproots; 3.9” to 3.3' (1 to 10 dm) tall
Leaves: alternate and basal; simple; pinnatifid to sub-bipinnatifid; basal leaves 0.8” to 3.2” (2 to 8 cm) long
Flowers: 5 united lobed tubular scarlet petals with pointed flaring lobes; 5 lobed sepals; stamens usually 5; 1 pistil; flowers are 0.6” to 2” (1.5 to 5 cm) long
Pollinators: other species in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically bumblebees and beeflies) and hummingbirds
Blooms in Arches National Park: May, June, July, August, September, October
Habitat in Arches National Park: riparian, desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: upper and lower Courthouse wash, Wolfe Ranch
Other: The genus name, “Ipomopsis”, is from the Greek “ipo” which means “to strike" and “opsis” which means "appearance", so put together means “striking appearance”. The genus name, “Gilia”, honors Filippo Luigi Gilii (1756-1821), a scientist and astronomer. The species name, “aggregata”, means “clustered” and refers to the close arrangement of flowers.
Did You Know?
In the late 1800s, John Wesley Wolfe, a disabled Civil War veteran, and his son, Fred, built a homestead in what is now Arches National Park. A weathered log cabin, root cellar, and corral remain as evidence of the primitive ranch they operated for more than 10 years.