The Sierra Nevada, in north central California
Exposed, rocky areas at high elevation
Tiny, glandular projections along a short spike
Polemonium eximium is found only in high elevation regions of California's Sierra Nevada, above 10,000 feet, on talus slopes, at the base of cliffs and along lakesides. The finely-divided leaves are very small, reduced in size to conserve water, and grow along spike-like stems around 6 inches long. Flower stalks are a little taller, topped by spherical clusters of several dozen lavender flowers. Flower heads consist of a five-lobed corolla with a narrow, tubular center, colored deeper purple. Blooms emit a pungent odor to maximise the chance of pollination during the short summer growing season. Flowers are fully open only for a few days.