Physaria parviflora
Author: Rollins

Piceance bladderpod

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Close up of Physaria parviflora by Peggy Lyon
Click image to enlarge.

Close up of Physaria parviflora by Steve O'Kane
Click image to enlarge.
Close up of Physaria parviflora by Susan Spackman Panjabi
Click image to enlarge.

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G2
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Please see 1997 profile

General description:

Look Alikes: The recurved siliques and pedicels are similar to L. arenosa and L. ludoviciana. The fundamental differences are in the ovule number and the position of the funiculi on the replum of the silique. The basal leaves are more similar to those of L. ludoviciana. (Rollins 1983; more details included). L. parviflora racemes are usually secund (one sided). Basal leaves are usually flat and generally dentate or somewhat angular. L. ludoviciana racemes are not secund. Basal leaves on this species are involute and usually entire (pers. comm. Minton November 1994).

Phenology: Flowers in June through early July; fruits in July (Peterson and Baker 1982; pers. comm. Jennings 1995).

[+] Habitat

Habitat of Physaria parviflora by Bernadette Kuhn
Click image to enlarge.

Endemic to outcrops of the Green River Shale Formation in the Piceance Basin. It grows on ledges and slopes of canyons in open areas of pinon juniper communities. The soils are Torriorthent Rock outcrop complex (Peterson and Baker 1982). Frequently associated species include Pinus edulis, Juniperus osteosperma, Eriogonum sp., Cirsium sp., Astragalus lutosus, Cercocarpus sp., Galium coloradense, Oryzopsis hymenoides, Penstemon sp., and Machaeranthera sp.

Elevation Range: 6,115 - 8,937 feet (1,864 - 2,724 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Physaria parviflora in Colorado.
Click image to enlarge.

Colorado endemic: Yes
Global range: Colorado endemic known from Rio Blanco, Garfield, and Mesa Counties. Estimated range is 4,165 square kilometers (1,611 square miles), calculated in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Physaria parviflora based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be “under conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
Click image to enlarge.

Oil shale mining and oil and gas development are the primary threats. Off road vehicles, overgrazing and urban development are also potential threats.

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Al-Shehbaz, I. A., and S. L. O'Kane. 2002. Lesquerella is united with Physaria (Brassicaceae). Novon 12:319-329.
    • Colorado Native Plant Society. 1989. Rare plants of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Colorado Native Plant Society, Estes Park, Colorado. 73 pp.
    • Elliott, B. A., S. Spackman Panjabi, B. Kurzel, B. Neely, R. Rondeau, M. Ewing. 2009. Recommended Best Management Practices for Plants of Concern. Practices developed to reduce the impacts of oil and gas development activities to plants of concern. Unpublished report prepared by the Rare Plant Conservation Initiative for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
    • Jennings, W. F. 1995. Personal communication about Rare Plant Guide Species.
    • 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. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    • Minton, S.A. 1994. Personal communication on 11/09/94 with Colorado Natural Heritage Program (re: rare plants).
    • 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.
    • O'Kane, S. L. 1988. Colorado's Rare Flora. Great Basin Naturalist. 48(4):434-484.
    • Peterson, J.S. and W.L. Baker. 1982. Inventory of the Piceance Basin, Colorado: Threatened and endangered plants, plant associations, and the general flora. Unpublished report prepared for the BLM, Craig District Office, by Colorado Natural Heritage.
    • Rollins, R. C. 1983. Studies in the Cruciferae of Western North America. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 64 (4).
    • Rollins, R.C. 1993. The Cruciferae of continental North America: Systematics of the mustard family from the Arctic to Panama. Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, California. 976 pp.
    • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz, and C. Spurrier. 1997. Colorado rare plant field guide. Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Colorado Natural Heritage Program.
    • 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, Eastern Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 555 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.

Last Updated