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Arabis selbyi Rydb.


Synonym: Boechera selbyi (Rydb.) W.A. Weber

Family: Brassicaceae

Description: "Only the slightly more ascending pedicels and usually entire or subentire leaves serve to distinguish this [A. selbyi] from A. perennans. Possibly, it would be treated better at infraspecific level within that species." (Welsh et al. 1993)

Distribution: It appears to be a Colorado Plateau endemic. Western Colorado and southwestern Wyoming to northwestern New Mexico and eastern Utah (Rollins 1993); Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Kane, San Juan, Sevier, Uintah, Utah, and Wayne counties; western Colorado and northwestern New Mexico (Welsh et al. 1993).

Plants Seen or Cited: No collections at UNM and no entries in the New Mexico Natural Heritage Program Database.

Habitat: Sandy knolls, steep hillsides, among sagebrush or under junipers and pines, rocky slopes, base of sandstone cliffs, chip-rock (Rollins 1993); sagebrush, pinyon-juniper, mountain brush, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir communities mostly at 1,500 to 2,625 m elevation (Welsh et al. 1993); common, pinyon-juniper and sagebrush (Weber & Wittmann 1996).

Discussion: This plant is common in western and southwestern Colorado and eastern Utah and is present in southwestern Wyoming. It is apparently not considered rare in Colorado (Spackman et al. 1997) or Utah (Atwood et al. nd). No specimens were seen from New Mexico (at least none are at UNM), although Rollins (1993) and Weber & Wittmann (1996) say that it grows in the northwestern part of the state. Even if it is present in New Mexico, its relatively wide distribution and commonness elsewhere indicate that it should not receive rare species status.

Important Literature:

Atwood, D.J. Holland, R. Bolander, B. Franklin, D.E. House, L. Armstrong, K. Thorne and L. England. No date (about 1990). Utah threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant field guide.

Rollins, R.C. 1993. The Cruciferae of continental North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. (page 201)

Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz and C. Spurrier. 1997. Colorado Rare Plant Field Guide. Prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

Weber, W.A. and R.C. Wittmann. 1996. Colorado flora: Western Slope, Second edition. University Press of Colorado. (page 117)

Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich and L.C. Higgins. 1993. A Utah flora, Second edition, revised. Jones Endowment Fund, Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. (page 285-286)

Information Compiled By: David L. Bleakly, 1998


Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
Design: J. Mygatt; Copyright © 1999-2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council