Scarlet Gilia

Red flowers on green stems against a dark background
Scarlet Gilia

NPS Photo/Tiffany Zadi


Scarlet Gilia

Ipomopsis aggregata

Common Names: Skyrocket
Family: Polemoniaceae
Flowering Season (Bryce Region): May - July
Size: 36-48" (90-120 cm)
Range: Southern British Columbia to Montana south to northern Mexico

General Description

The Scarlet Gilia has bright green, comb-like leaves and an elongated inflorescence of red, pink, or white flowers. Each flower forms an elongated tube that bursts into five spreading corolla lobes at the tip. The plant’s long, narrow floral tube is well suited for pollination by long-beaked or long-tongued animals Red-flowered races of scarlet gilia tend to be pollinated mostly by hummingbirds.


Scarlet gilia grows in a variety of habitats, from desert canyons and cliffs to montane meadows, and subalpine rock fields.

Plant Lore

In the past, taxonomists have named at least 27 different forms of scarlet gilia as separate species across its range. Today, these are all recognized as just one to three species (depending on the taxonomic treatment) with 7-10 different subspecies. Most authorities now know the species as Ipomopsis aggregata (Ipomopsis comes from Greek words for “striking appearance”), though older books often treat it as Gilia aggregata (for Spanish botanist Felipe Luis Gil).

Further Reading

US Forest Service - Scarlet Gilia

Last updated: April 30, 2023

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