Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Parrya nudicaulis (L.) Regel

Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), Draba family.

Published in Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 34, 3: 176. 1861.

Type: Described from Siberia, based on Gmelin specimen probably collected between Jakutsk and Okhotsk.

Synonymy. Cardamine nudicaulis L., Sp. Pl. 654. 1753.

Neuroloma nudicaule (L.) DC., Prodr. 1: 156. 1824.

Achoriphragma nudicaulis (L.) Soják, Sborn. N r. Muz. Praze 1982, 1–2: 106. 1982.

Parrya nudicaulis (L.) Regel subsp. interior Hultén, Acta Univ. Lund., n. f., avd. 2, 41, 1: 890. 1945.

Parrya nudicaulis (L.) Regel subsp. septentrionalis Hultén, Ark. Bot., ser. 2, 7, 1: 67. 1968a.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 7–14 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Taproot present. Roots stout, up to 50 cm long and 1.5 cm thick. Caudex present (enlarged, and usually branched). Aerial stems erect. Leaves mainly basal; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles absent. Leaf blades simple. Leaf blade bases attenuate (at times petiole-like). Blades (30–)50–100 mm long, 12–24 mm wide, oblanceolate (narrowly), appearing single-veined. Blade adaxial surface with short stalked glands, glabrous or hairy, hairs puberulent or pilose, hairs simple, hairs sparse, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface hairy, hairs puberulent or pilose (glandular hispid), hairs sparse, hairs white. Blades not lobed. Blade margins entire or serrate or dentate, glabrous, with teeth all around the blade. Hydathodes absent. Blade apices acute.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems two or more per plant; without leaves. Flowering stem glandular hairs present. Inflorescences racemose. Flowers per inflorescence 7–12; large; radially symmetrical (actinomorphic). Sepals conventional; 4; free; 5–7 mm wide; purple; scarious (white margins). Calyx glabrous. Petals conventional; free; 4; white, or purple; without contrasting markings; obovate; slightly lobed or undulating; 12–15 mm long. Stamens 6; stamen filaments markedly unequal in length; stamen filaments glabrous; free of the corolla. Anthers yellow; 2–2.5 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Ovaries glabrous. Styles 1; 0.8–1.1 mm long. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation parietal. Ovules per ovary 4–8. Fruit stalk 20–25 mm long; dry; a silique; brown and yellowish; 15–20 mm long; 1.5–2 mm wide; glabrous, or hairy (glandular pubescent); distinctly flattened (tapering at both ends); 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 0.8–2 mm long. Seeds 4–8; 1–1.2 mm long; brown (light brown); surfaces verrucose and winged (seeds flattened with loose netlike seed coat that forms wide wings).

Chromosome information. 2n = 14 and 28.

2n (2x) = 14. Hedberg (1967, northern Canada); Knaben (1968, central Alaska); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1971, 1972, Wrangel Island; 1976, western Chukotka); Yurtsev and Zhukova (1972, northeastern Asia); Krogulevich and Rostovtseva (1984, Siberia); Mulligan (2003);

2n (4x) = 28. Zhukova (1965a, eastern Chukotka; 1980, southern Chukotka); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwestern Alaska); Sokolovskaya (1968, northeastern Asia, Koryak); Mulligan and Porsild (1970, Yukon); Zhukova et al. (1973, northern and northeastern Asia); Krogulevich (1976a, northern Siberia); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1980, western Chukotka; 1984, northern and northeastern Asia); Probatova and Sokolovskaya (1984a northeastern Asia); Mulligan (2003).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x and 4x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: wet meadows, snow patches, along streams, river terraces, slopes, ridges; imperfectly drained moist areas, seepage slopes, dry; gravel, silt, till, moss; with low organic content, with high organic content; acidic, or calcareous.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago limited. Uncommon. Arctic, alpine. Arctic islands: Victoria.

Northern hemisphere distribution. Amphi-Beringian. Kanin–Pechora, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Taimyr – Severnaya Zemlya, Anabar–Olenyok, Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada.

General notes. The flowers are very fragrant. The range of variation in this species is unusually great, and the same variants occur in both the North American and Eurasian populations (Rollins 1993). This is reflected in the long list of synonyms. Elven et al. (2003) agreed with Rollins' (1993) evaluation that it is difficult, or even impossible, to make consistent subdivisions of this taxon. The differential characters appear throughout the range and often even within populations.

Illustrations. • Habitat. Small plant growing in lush snowbank environment. Alaska, White Mountains, Eagle Summit. July, 1998. Photograph by R. Elven. Voucher at 0. • Habitat. Plants growing in alpine meadow. Note the racemose inflorescence, and the rose-coloured, spatulate-shaped, free petals. Hanne H. Grundt. 1998. Alaska, Alaska Range, Mount Margaret. No voucher. Photograph by Hanne H. Grundt. • Close-up of inflorescence. Flowers borne in a corymb-like racemose inflorescence with rose-coloured, spatulate, free petals. Hanne H. Grunt. 1998. Alaska, Alaska Range, Mount Margaret. No voucher. • Close-up of plant in fruit. Plant with shallowly dentate leaf margins and siliques that taper at both ends. Alaska, White Mountains, Eagle Summit. July, 1998. Photograph by R. Elven. Voucher at 0. • Close-up of pressed fruits. Fruit yellowish brown, 15–20 mm long, 1.5–2 mm wide, distinctly flattened, tapering at both ends, and characteristically undulating at the margins. N.W.T., Canol Road. 25 July, 1944. V.C. Wynne-Edwards 8316. CAN 64234. • Close-up of silique partition. Partition remains of the silique is distinctly flattened, tapering at both ends, and characteristically undulating at the margins. Such remains from the previous season can be the best way to distinguish Parrya from Erysimum when the plants are in flower. N.W.T. Nahannni National Park. 16 July, 1975. S. Talbot T5029–1. CAN 483014. • 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.

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