[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]
Scientific Name: Draba smithii Gilg ex O.E. Schulz
Vernacular Name: Smith's whitlowgrass
R-E-D Code: 2-1-2
Description: Perennial; caudex multicipital; branches prostrate, slender and usually matted; basal leaves tufted, linear-oblanceolate to obovate, entire to denticulate, 0.5-1.3(-2.5) cm long; stem leaves 3-8, slightly smaller; plants including pedicels cinereous with dense short branched trichomes; flowering stems simple, 10-15 cm tall; inflorescence loose, 12-28-flowered; petals 4, white; fruiting pedicels mostly longer than the siliques, lower up to 1 cm long; siliques ovate-lanceolate, 5-9 mm long, usually contorted, finely pubescent with minute branched trichomes; styles 1-2 mm long; seeds mostly 1 mm long. Flowers June to July.
Similar Species: Draba smithii is easily recognized by its long styles (1-2 mm long), white flower petals, minute trichomes (0.05-0.2 mm long), and prostrate mats.
Distribution: New Mexico, Taos County; Colorado, Archuleta, Custer, Hinsdale, Las Animas, Mineral, and Saguache counties.
Habitat: Montane and mountain shrub zones, mostly on rocky outcrops and talus slopes, rarely along streams; 2,365-4,000 m (7,760-13,125 ft).
Remarks: Known populations are widely disjunct and its distribution is patchy. Although many areas have potential habitat, Smiths whitlowgrass is rare.
Conservation Considerations: Draba smithii usually grows in habitats that have few disturbances. However, recreational activity may be a potential problem.
Important Literature (*Illustration):
Rollins, R.C. 1993. The Cruciferae of continental North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
*Ladyman, Juanita A.R. 2004. Draba smithii Gilg ex O.E. Schulz (Smiths draba): a technical conservation assessment [Online]. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp/assessments/drabasmithii.pdf
Weber, W.A. and R.C. Wittman. 2001. Colorado Flora, eastern slope. Third edition. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
Information Compiled By:
Kenneth D. Heil, 2009