Brassicaceae Streptanthella longirostris

Streptanthella longirostris

Streptanthella longirostris

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.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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