Draba malpighiacea
Author: Windham & Al-Shehbaz


Brassicaceae (mustard family)

Close up of Draba malpighiacea by Peggy Lyon

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G1?
State rank: S1?
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

Description and Phenology

Draba malpighiaceae: artwork in progress

General description: Drabe malpighiaceae is perennial; 4.5-15 cm tall, with yellow flowers. Plants are pubescent throughout with malpighiaceous (rarely a few simple) trichomes 0.2-0.5 mm long. Fruits are elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, 5-10 1.5-2.2 mm, flattened, not twisted, and glabrous; style is 0.8-1.2 mm long (Al-Shehbaz and Windam 2007).

Look Alikes: Draba malpighiaceae is readily distinguished from all species of Draba in Canada and the United States by having leaves with exclusively straight hairs that taper to free ends and are attached near the middle. These are known as malpighiaceous trichomes (Flora of North America 2010, Al-Shehbaz and Windam 2007).

Phenology: Flowers are produced June-August (FNA 1993+, Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).


Habitat of Draba malpighiacea by Peggy Lyon

Rock outcrops and rocky slopes on alpine ridgetops and in subalpine conifer forests. Associated species include Lloydia serotina, Polemonium pulcherrimum var. delicatum, Anemone multifida subsp. globosa, and Townsendia rothrockii (Al-Shehbaz and Windham 2007, FNA 2010, CNHP 2012).

Elevation Range: 9,764 - 12,982 feet (2,976 - 3,957 meters)


Colorado endemic: Yes
Global range: Colorado endemic. Restricted to higher elevations in Hindsale, La Plata, and Montezuma counties (Al-Shehbaz and Windham 2007).
Distribution of Draba malpighiacea in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).

Distribution of Draba malpighiaceae in Colorado

Threats and Management Issues

No threats known. Alpine species are thought to be especially vulnerable to climate change.


    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Al-Shehbaz, I.A., and M. D. Windham. 2007. New or noteworthy North American Draba (Brassicaceae). Harvard Papers in Botany 12(2): 409-419.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • Neely, B., S. Panjabi, E. Lane, P. Lewis, C. Dawson, A. Kratz, B. Kurzel, T. Hogan, J. Handwerk, S. Krishnan, J. Neale, and N. Ripley. 2009. Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Strategy, Developed by the Colorado Rare Plant conservation Initiative. The Nature Conservancy, Boulder, Colorado, 117 pp.
    • 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.

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