Perennial herb 0.5 - 1 m tall Stem: erect, and unbranched below the inflorescence. Leaves: numerous, alternate, closely spaced, and deeply pinnately divided into very narrow, linear, or thread-like segments. Inflorescence: terminal, branched or unbranched, slender, elongate, 20 - 40 cm tall, and leafy at the base. Flowers: bright red outside, yellow inside, 2 - 4 cm long, 1 - 2 cm wide, radially symmetric, with a very long, slender tube, and flared lobes. Sepals: five, but fused into a 3 - 5 mm long tube, then separating into longer, linear to long-triangular lobes with pointed tips. Petals: five, but fused into a long, slender tube, then separating into 0.7 - 1 cm long, flaring, somewhat triangular lobes. Stamens: five, hairless, erect, attached inside the petal tube, but rarely extending beyond the tube. Pistil: with a single, three-chambered, superior ovary; and a single, elongate style with three, linear stigmas, which extend beyond the petal tube. Fruit: a three-chambered, numerous-seeded capsule, which splits open lengthwise along the outside into each chamber.
Similar species: Ipomopsis rubra is fairly distinct from our other members of the Polemoniaceae family since none of them have such finely dissected leaves, or bright red flowers with extremely long tubes.
Flowering: July to September
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from the southern United States, cultivated in gardens, and occasionally escaping to sandy soils, especially along roads or in cemeteries.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Notes: This species, with its bright red flowers, is pollinated by hummingbirds. Members of the genus Ipomopsis have in the past been placed in the genus Gilia, but due to differences in chromosome number, and morphological characters, they are now accepted as separate genera.
Author: The Field Museum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
In my herbarium there is a specimen from Cass County and there are specimens from two places in Starke County. Four of the specimens I have seen are from sandy roadside knolls and one I collected was on a cleared sand hill in a large black oak woods about a mile south of Koontz Lake, Starke County. It has escaped in the vicinity of Morocco, Newton County. This plant is biennial and I highly recommend it for ornamental planting. It has sown itself in our garden for many years.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = null, non-native