Beakpod Nippletwist (Little Twistflower)
Family: Brassicaceae (A Utah Flora – Cruciferae) – Mustard Family
Annual herbs; coming from taproots; plant 4” to 1.6' (1 to 5 decimeters) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; no hairs; leaf margins wavy or have sharp teeth or entire; 0.06” to 3.4” (1.5 to 8.5 cm) long; 0.04” to 0.48” (1 to 12 mm) wide; leaves reduced upwards
Flowers: 4 (white with purple veins) petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; 4 greenish or purplish sepals; usually 6 stamens (with 2 outer shorter than the inner 4), sometimes 2 or 4; 1 pistil; flowers in corymbs or racemes; usually radially symmetrical; petals 0.2” to 0.32” (5 to 8 mm) long; nectar glands commonly 4
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically butterflies, moths, bees and flies); some self-fertile
Fruits: usually a pod with 2 compartments with a thin partition; seed pods hang downwards
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities on sandy, clayey, or gravelly soils
Location seen: widespread, Windows, Winter Camp wash, Fiery Furnace
Other: The genus name, “Streptanthella”, is the diminutive of Strepanthus from the Greek “streptos” which means “ twisted” and “anthos” which means “flower” referring to the twisted petals of the flower. The species name, “longirostris”, means “long beak” and refers to the seedpod's pointed tip.
Many plants in this family are weeds and they flower early because they are annual. Many vegetables are in this family– radish, cabbage, cauliflower. A few species of plants in this family are poisonous to livestock.
Did You Know?
Naturally occurring sandstone basins called “potholes” collect rain water and wind-blown sediment, forming tiny ecosystems where a fascinating collection of plants and animals live. Tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp and many insects can be found in potholes. More...