Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
English: Arctic Bladderpod.
Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), Draba family.
Published in Type: Greenland: "Omenak", leg. C.L.Gieseke. Holotype: C.
Synonymy. Alyssum arcticum Wormskjold ex Hornem., Fl. Dan. 9, 26: 3, t. 1520. 1816.
Vesicaria arctica (Wormskjold ex Hornem.) Richardson, Narr. Journey Polar Sea App. 743. 1823.
Vesicaria arctica (Wormskjold ex Hornem.) Richardson, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 23: 254. 1888.
Physaria arctica (Wormskjold ex Horneman) O'Kane and Al-Shehbaz, in Al-Shehbaz and O'Kane, Novon 12: 321. 2002.
Vesicaria arctica var. leiocarpa Trautv. Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada 5(1): 19. 1877.
Vesicaria leiocarpa (Trautv.) N. Busch, in Komarov, Flora USSR: 8: 362. 1939.
Lesquerella arctica var. purshii S. Watson, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 23(2): 254. 1888.
Lesquerella purshii (S. Watson) Fernald, Rhodora 35: 267. 1933.
Lesquerella arctica subsp. purshii (S. Watson) A.E. Porsild, Natl. Mus. Canada Bull. 121: 191. 1951.
Lesquerella arctica ( Richardson ) S. Wats. var. scammanae Rollins, Amer. J. Bot. 26: 421. 1939.
Vegetative morphology. Plants 6–12 cm high; perennial herbs. Taproot present. Caudex present (woody, branched or unbranched). Aerial stems erect, or ascending, or prostrate. Leaves mainly basal; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles absent. Leaf blades simple. Leaf blade bases attenuate. Blades 1.5–3 mm long, 3–7 mm wide, spatulate, appearing single-veined. Blade adaxial surface without sessile glands, hairy, hairs stellate (appressed), hairs a mixture of white and yellow hairs. Blade abaxial surface with sessile glands, hairy, hairs irregularly branched (appressed). Blade margins entire, glabrous. Hydathodes absent. Blade apices acute, or obtuse.
Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems two or more per plant; with leaves. Inflorescences racemose. Flowers per inflorescence 3–8; small; radially symmetrical (actinomorphic). Sepals conventional; 4; free; 4–4.5 mm wide; green; herbaceous. Calyx hairy. Calyx hairs white or translucent. Petals conventional; free; 4; yellow; without contrasting markings; obovate; slightly lobed or undulating; 4.5–6 mm long. Stamens 6; stamen filaments markedly unequal in length; stamen filaments glabrous; free of the corolla. Anthers yellow; 1–1.2 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Ovaries glabrous. Styles 1; 1–1.3 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation parietal. Ovules per ovary 6–8. Fruit stalk 6–10 mm long; dry; a silique; spherical; purple and yellowish; 4–6 mm long; 4–6 mm wide; glabrous; dehiscent; shedding the outer walls to expose a thin inner wall, with the seeds attached at the margins on either side. Styles persisting in fruit 1.7–2.2 mm long. Seeds 6–8; 1.8–2.2 mm long; brown; surfaces verrucose.
Chromosome information. 2n = 60.
2n = 60. Böcher and Larsen (1950, Greenland); Holmen (1952, Greenland); Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Zhukova (1965b, Wrangel Island); Knaben (1968, Alaska); Mulligan and Porsild (1969a, Yukon); Krogulevich (1976a, northern Siberia); Dawe and Murray, in Löve (1981a, northern Alaska, two counts); Löve and Löve (1982, Arctic Canada); Yurtsev and Zhukova (1982, northern Siberia); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1984, northerv and northeastern Asia); Dalgaard (1989, western Greenland); Mulligan (2003).
Ploidy levels recorded 12x.
Ecology and habitat. Substrates: river terraces, slopes, ridges; dry; rocks, gravel, sand, clay; with low organic content; calcareous.
North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Common. Arctic, alpine. Arctic islands: Baffin, Devon, Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Banks, Victoria, Southampton (Boothia and Melville peninsula).
Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Beringian, or North American. Taimyr Severnaya Zemlya, Kharaulakh, YanaKolyma (?), Wrangel Island, West Alaska, West Alaska, North Alaska Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land Peary Land, West Greenland, East Greenland.
General notes. This species has leaves that are often slightly cupped, with a single blunt tooth on each side. The leaves are covered by unusual stellate hairs (the hair has a single stalk with numerous branches, forming a flat, radiate wheel (or a "sunburst")), easily visible with a hand lens. The yellow flowers are borne in loose racemes at the end of several widely diverging flower stalks. The siliques (seedpods) are globular and resemble tiny balls each with the remnants of the style at the tip, hence the common name of bladderpod.
Larger specimens of this species were previously recognised as var. scammanae, but Rollins (1993) has reduced this taxon to synonymy, as size seems to be a reflection of the habitat.
This species was transferred to the genus Physaria, a small genus of plants endemic to an area near Colorado, by O'Kane and Al-Shehbaz (2002), based on DNA evidence. Mulligan (personal communicaton, 2005) indicated that plant morphology and the morphology of the chromosomes do not support this transfer [Novon 12: 319–329. 2002], and this is to be followed in the Flora of North America treatment (Ihsan Al-Shehbaz , personal communication, Dec. 2003).
Illustrations. • Habitat. Tiny plant growing in a crack in frost boil clay. Nunavut, Axel Heiberg Island, Geodetic Hills. July, 1992. S. Cumbaa. No voucher. • Plant habit. Plant growing on dry stony clay. N.W.T., Banks Island, Sachs Harbour. 24 July, 1981. J.M. Gillett 18796. CAN. • Top view of plant. Plant with characteristic bluish green leaves, inflorescences beginning to flower, and the remains of previous season's siliques showing their round outline. Nunavut, Axel Heiberg, Geodetic Hills. July, 1992. S. Cumbaa. No voucher. • Close-up of developing fruits. Remains of flowers showing sepals shorter and narrower than the petals, but both are yellow. Note developing fruits are globose. Aiken 98–003. CAN. Photograph by Mollie MacCormac. • Plant in fruit. Plant growing on dry stony clay. Inflorescence in fruit with characteristic pods. N.W.T., Banks Island, Sachs Harbour. 24 July, 1981. J.M. Gillett 18796. CAN. • Arctic Island Distribution.
This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.
Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.
Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa..