The Ipomopsis genus was named by Andre Michaux in 1803; 20th century Gilia experts, Verne and Alva Grant, re-assigned the Ipomopsis species shown on this page from the Gilia genus to the Ipomopsis genus in 1956.  

     "Ipomopsis" means "similar to Ipomoea" ("Morning Glories", one of which has a tubular red flower).

      "Tenuituba" is Latin for "slender tube".

     The word "Gilia" is pronounced "Gee lee uh", because the plant was named for Italian clergyman and scientist, Filippo Luigi Gilii (gee lee ee).  (See biographical information.)

Click for Ipomopsis aggregata photographs.

 This is a native species.

Ipomopsis tenuituba

Ipomopsis tenuituba

Ipomopsis tenuitubaSynonyms: Gilia tenuituba, Gilia aggregata, Ipomopsis aggregata variety macrosiphon. (Slender-tube Skyrocket).
Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)

Montane, sub-alpine. Woodlands, meadows, openings. Summer, fall.
Above: Near Robertson Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, August 1, 2014 and Grand Mesa, July 13, 2017.
Left: Shoulder of Abajo Peak, Utah, August 24, 2005.

I. tenuituba is very similar to I. aggregata and I was not aware of the differences for many years. I received a very helpful email from Dieter Wilken of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.  Dieter indicates that the two plants differ in several key ways.  The following comparison is mostly in Dieter's words:

I. tenuituba tends to occur at relatively high elevations or at least in subalpine fir and higher elevation sagebrush communities.
I. aggregata has a wide range of ecological associations but generally is not at the upper limits of subalpine forest.

I. tenuituba has a white to pale pink to lavender, sometimes very light purple corolla.
I. aggregata has a red to orange-red corolla, although even yellow sometimes.

I. tenuituba has a more slender tube, often arched and about 20-45 mm long, typically toward the longer measurement.
I. aggregata has a tube about 15-25 mm long, typically toward the longer measurement.

I. tenuituba has long, slender calyx lobes.
I. aggregata has shorter, tapering calyx lobes.

I. tenuituba has all or most anthers within the tube, with no more than one anther protruding from the throat. 
I. aggregata has 3-5 anthers in the throat or protruding beyond the throat.

I. tenuituba generally produces nectar in the early morning or late afternoon, is sweet-smelling in the evening, and is pollinated principally by moths, sometimes butterflies.
I. aggregata generally produces nectar during the day in large quantities, is odorless, and is pollinated principally by hummingbirds.
The two species do hybridize.

This species was first collected by Edward Palmer (1831-1911) in Utah in 1877 and was named Gilia tenuituba by Per Axel Rydberg in 1913.  It was renamed Ipomopsis tenuituba in 1956 by Gilia experts Verne and Alva Grant.

"Tenuituba" is Latin for "thin/slender/stretched tube".

Shown below are some of the color variations of Ipomopsis tenuituba that you can expect to find -- sometimes within a few hundred feet of each other.

Ipomopsis tenuituba

Ipomopsis tenuituba

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color KeySpecies present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Questionable presence

Range map for Ipomopsis tenuituba