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Anelsonia eurycarpa (Daggerpod)

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Scientific Name

Anelsonia eurycarpa (A.Gray) J.F.Macbr. & Payson

Common Names

Daggerpod

Synonyms

Draba eurycarpa, Parrya eurycarpa, Parrya huddelliana, Phoenicaulis eurycarpa, Phoenicaulis huddelliana

Scientific Classification

Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Anelsonia

Origin

This species is native to the western United States.

Description

Anelsonia eurycarpa is a perennial plant with long, branched caudex and fleshy, velvety leaves arranged in rosettes on slender stems. The leaves are finger-like and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long. Tiny flowers are white to purplish, densely packed in a short inflorescence, and appear from late spring into summer. The distinctive fruits are papery to leathery, white, and often with areas of purple or brown. They are elliptic, up 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, and have several brown seeds.

The specific epithet "eurycarpa" derives from the Latin words "eury," meaning "broad or wide" and "carpa," meaning "fruit," and refers to the shape of the fruits.

Anelsonia eurycarpa (Daggerpod)

Photo by Steve Matson

Anelsonia eurycarpa is a single species in the monotypic genus Anelsonia that belongs to the family Brassicaceae, commonly known as Mustard Family. It is similar to Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides.

The generic name "eurycarpa" honors Aven Nelson (1859-1952), an American botanist who specialized in plants of the Rocky Mountains.

This unusual plant is usually found growing on disintegrated unaltered volcanic rocks or whitish ash at high elevations, 9,500 to 13,000 feet (2,900 to 4,000 m), in subalpine or alpine slopes and ridges form central Idaho to the Sweetwater Mountains, White Mountains, and Sierra Nevada of California. In 1983, Arnold Tiehm found this species growing on white-colored ash at 5,300 feet (1,600 m) on the south side of Mahogany Mountain in Washoe County, Nevada.

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