Stanleya albescens
Author: M.E. Jones

Arizona prince-plume

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Close up of Stanleya albescens by Peggy Lyon
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Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Stanleya albescens: by Sharon Garrett.
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General description: Stanleya albescens plants are biennials; glaucous to mostly glabrous, with yellow to whitish flowers. Stems are unbranched or branched, and are 2-10 dm tall. Leaves are petiolate, fleshy, broadly lanceolate to oblanceolate or ovate in outline, margins lyrate-pinnatifid or runcinate or sometimes entire. Flowers are arranged in somewhat dense racemes. Fruiting pedicels are horizontal to divaricate-ascending. Fruits are suberect to ascending, slightly curved inward, subterete, 2.3-6 cm long by 1-2 mm wide (Flora of North America 2010).

Look Alikes: Stanleya albescens plants are glaucous and flowers are creamy white, whereas S. pinnata plants are green with bright yellow flowers (Weber and Wittmann 2012).

Phenology: Plants produce flowers and fruit in May (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Stanleya albescens housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Stanleya albescens by Peggy Lyon
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Abundant on adobe flats in the Gunnison and Colorado River valleys between Delta and Grand Junction. In some years the plants are dominant in the landscape while scarce in other years (Weber and Wittmann 2012). Low, sparsely vegetated hills or flats of Mancos Shale dominated by Atriplex confertifolia with Hilaria jamesii. Additional associated plant species include Atriplex corrugata and Sarcobatus vermiculatus (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

Elevation Range: 4,672 - 6,201 feet (1,424 - 1,890 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Stanleya albescens in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Stanleya albescens in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: This species is found in western Colorado, northwestern and west-central New Mexico, and northeastern Arizona. There are habitats in southeastern Utah (Grand and San Juan counties) similar to those where it occurs in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, so it may occur in Utah as well, but apparently no specimens have yet been collected (Holmgren et al. 2005, Welsh et al. 2008). Counties where recorded include Delta, Mesa, and Montrose counties in Colorado (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012); Apache, Navajo, Coconino (old specimen only) and Mohave (old specimen only) counties in Arizona; and San Juan, Sandoval, and Socorro counties in New Mexico (Kearney and Peebles 1951, Martin and Hutchins 1980).
State range: In Colorado known from Delta, Mesa, and Montrose counties (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Primary threats in Colorado appear to be road maintenance, recreational uses, and potential competition from non-native plant species (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, ed. (FNA). 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2010. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 7. Magnoliophyta: Salicaceae to Brassicaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxii + 797 pp.
    • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 666 pp.
    • Heil, K.D., S.L. O'Kane Jr., L.M. Reeves, and A. Clifford, 2013. Flora of the Four Corners Region, Vascular Plants of the San Juan River Drainage; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, Missouri. 1098 pp.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.
    • Kearney, T.H., R.H. Peebles, and collaborators. 1951. Arizona flora. 2nd edition with Supplement (1960) by J.T. Howell, E. McClintock, and collaborators. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 1085 pp.
    • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).
    • Martin, W.C., and C.R. Hutchins. 1980-1981. A flora of New Mexico. 1980, Vol. 1; 1981, Vol. 2. J. Cramer, in der A.R. Gantner Verlag, K.G., Vaduz, Liechtenstein. 2591 pp.
    • McKee, J. P. 2002. USDA-Forest Service Region 2 Sensitive Species Evaluation Form: Stanleya albescens (Arizona Prince-plume). Online. Available: (Accessed 2009).
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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