Physaria vicina
Author: J.L. Anderson, Reveal & Rollins

Good-neighbor bladderpod

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Close up of Physaria vicina by Steve O'Kane
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Taxonomic Comments

=Lesquerella vicina J.L. Anderson, Reveal & Rollins

Ranks and Status

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

[+] Description and Phenology

Physaria vicina by Dolly Baker
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General description: Flower petals 6-10 mm/0.2-0.4 in long, white with a yellow base; flower stalks may be sigmoid (S-shaped) or curved, sometimes straight. Siliques (fruit) are erect, and stellate-pubescent; stems 1-2.5 dm/4-10 in long, ascending (in flower) or nearly prostrate (in fruit); perennial. 

Look Alikes: No other species of Physaria in this area have white flower petals.

Phenology: Flowering and fruiting in April and May.

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Physaria vicina housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Physaria vicina by Peggy Lyon
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This species grows on Mancos shale at the ecotone between pinyon-juniper woodland and salt desert scrub (Anderson et al. 1997). It also has been found in sandy soils derived from Jurassic sandstones and in sagebrush steppe. It is often found in disturbed areas, including old road beds and cattle trails. Associated species include Juniperus osteosperma, Forsellesia meionandra, Cercocarpus montanus, Yucca harrimanniae, Ephedra viridis, Leymus salinus, Stanleya pinnata, Townsendia incana, Heterotheca villosa, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Eriogonum microthecum, Noccaea montana, Cymopterus fendleri, Opuntia polyacantha, Echinocereus triglochidiatus, Achnatherum hymenoides, Stanleya albescens, Erysimum capitatum, Phlox hoodii, Draba reptans, and Stenotus armerioides (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

Elevation Range: 5,705 - 7,536 feet (1,739 - 2,297 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Physaria vicina in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Physaria vicina in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: Yes
Global range: This species is presently considered endemic to Montrose and Ouray counties, western Colorado. Estimated range is 1,285 square kilometers (496 square miles), calculated in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2008)

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Physaria vicina based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be “Moderately Conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
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Roads and recreational uses are considered to be the primary threats to the species at this time (Rondeau et al. 2011). Other management concerns include powerline maintenance and grazing.

[+] 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.
    • Anderson, J.L., J.L. Reveal, R.C. Rollins. 1997. Lesquerella vicina (Brassicaceae), a new species from the Uncompahgre River Valley in western Colorado. Novon 7:9-12.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2008. The Fifth Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G2 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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