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Cardamine cordifolia Gray var. incana Gray ex M.E. Jones

Synonyms: Cardamine cardiophylla Rydb.; Cardamine infausta Greene; Cardamine cordifolia Gray var. pubescens Gray ex O.E. Schulz; Cardamine incana (Gray) A. Nels.

Family: Brassicaceae

Distribution: Colorado and Utah (Rollins 1993). Weber & Wittmann (1996) state that southern Colorado counties have populations with strongly pubescent leaves. According to Welsh et al. (1993), all Utah plants are var. cordifolia.

Plants Seen or Cited: No entries in the New Mexico Natural Heritage Program Database. All specimens of Cardamine cordifolia at UNM appear to be var. cordifolia. Some are significantly hairier than typical, but none are densely so and they are never whitish as var. incana is supposed be. Vestiture on these slightly hairier specimens is denser toward the base of the plants and is more likely to be present on depauperate individuals.

Habitat: Stream margins, cold springs, creek bottoms (Rollins 1993).

Discussion: Rollins (1993), perhaps the best source of information about the plant, does not say anything about the commonness or rarity of var. incana. It is apparently not considered rare in Colorado (Spackman et al. 1997) or Utah (Atwood et al. nd). Considering that there is some variation in vestiture within Cardamine cordifolia even in New Mexico, and in other mustard species for that matter, it may be that var. incana represents the hairiest extreme of a continuum that ranges from the nearly or completely glabrous state, that is typical of var. cordifolia, to the hairiest state in var. incana. Since var. incana apparently is present in Colorado and Utah in numbers sufficiently great that no comment is necessary about its rarity, it is probably too common to be considered rare in New Mexico, whether it exists here or not.

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 267)

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 118)

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 290)

1895. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 5:620. (Original Citation)

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