Boechera stricta with Puccinia monoica

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Scientific Name Boechera stricta (Arabis drummondii)infected with Puccinia monoica rust USDA PLANTS Symbol
Common Name Drummond's Rockcress ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
Family Brassicaceae (Mustard) SEINet
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Description Life zones and habitat: Montane to alpine (7000 to 13000 ft). Gravelly or rocky slopes, meadows, openings.
Plant: Erect perennial 1 to 3 feet tall (6 to 18 inches at altitude), usually 1 but up to 4 slender stem.
Leaves: Mostly basal leaves from a rosette, 3/4 to 3 inches long, narrow, oblanceolate, pointed tip, fleshy.
Inflorescence: Several small, erect blossoms in a raceme, each with 4 white to pale lavender petals.
Bloom Period: May to August.
Reference: "Guide to Colorado Wildflowers" by G.K. Guennel and "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield.
Note: In early spring, some plants become infected with Puccinia monoica, a rust fungus that stops the rock cress from flowering and forces it to form the brilliant yellow pseudoflowers containing the reproductive structures of the rust fungus. Below are photos of the plant with the rust taken at Mayflower Gulch and Georgia Pass in Summit County.
•For more information about the fungus click here.
•There is an excellent description with very detailed photos at SW Colorado Wildflowers.
•For photos of unafflicted B. stricta on this site click here.
BONAP Distribution Map Colorado Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2021