Flowers on the Summit of Lyell

Sky-pilots is a very fitting name for this flower. So fragile and so strong, they live close to the sky. These flowers I have seen as high as 14000 ft in California (on the summit of Russell). Electra is the peak seen in the background.
Lyell. California. July 14, 2007. 1:15 pm.


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Anya Jingle

Anya Jingle - Jul 21, 2007 4:19 pm - Voted 10/10

They are...

Sky-Pilots also often referred to as Polemonium. They were favorite flowers of John Muir.
Nice photo!


Vladislav - Jul 22, 2007 3:05 am - Hasn't voted

Re: They are...

Thank you, Anya!
I hoped you would chime in. I was sure you knew the answer. Sky-Pilots! What a fitting name!

Anya Jingle

Anya Jingle - Jul 22, 2007 3:16 am - Voted 10/10

Re: They are...

Hi Vladislav. Yes, I like their name a lot too. Have you smelled the flowers? They are stinky yet beautiful ;)


Vladislav - Jul 22, 2007 2:24 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: They are...

Anya, I have another question for you. It's usually quite windy at the altitude where sky pilots grow. Not a good place for insects. Also I haven't seen many insects above 13000 ft, I saw some half-frozen flies on Lyell glacier but that's it. How do sky pilots manage to pollinate?

Anya Jingle

Anya Jingle - Jul 22, 2007 7:15 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: They are...

Good question. When sky-pilots give out the characteristic foul odor it attracts the flies to them and flies pollinate them. Sometimes this plant can also smell sweet and pleasant and then bees will show up and pollinate.


PrestonRhea - Sep 4, 2008 6:33 pm - Voted 10/10

Beautiful picture...

Amazing picture of amazing country. One small thing I would like to point out, my friend: there are no points in California or the world for that matter that are 140000ft tall. Just a small edit. :]


deenja - Oct 20, 2012 7:00 pm - Voted 10/10


That valley south of Lyell is one of the most spectacular terraced hanging valleys/lakes area of the whole Sierra's. Great photo. Thank you for reminding me of my first peak in the Sierra's


StevenThaw - Jul 24, 2014 1:34 am - Hasn't voted

SIERRA not sierra's

The SIERRA is ONE mountain range! The Sierra Nevada is Spanish for "snowy range". The California Miwok named it "Kayopha the sky and the peaks that touch it". John Muir called it the "Range of Light". Steve Thaw, Moraga,CA

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