Physaria bellii

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Physaria bellii
Physaria bellii 0807081.jpg

Imperiled (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Physaria
Species: P. bellii
Binomial name
Physaria bellii

Physaria bellii is a species of flowering plant in the mustard family known by the common names Bell's twinpod and Front Range twinpod. It is endemic to Colorado in the United States.[1][2]

This perennial herb produces decumbent or prostrate stems from a caudex. The plant is covered in hairs, making it silvery. The basal leaves are toothed and the leaves along the stems are smooth on the edges. The inflorescence is a raceme of flowers with yellow petals and yellowish sepals. The fruit is a leathery pod reaching nearly a centimeter in length.[3] Flowering occurs in May and June.[1]

This plant grows on the Front Range in Colorado. It grows on the Niobrara, Pierre, Fountain, Ingleside, and Lykins Formations. The soils are limestone, limestone shale, or red sandstone.[1][2] The habitat is shrubland dominated by Rhus trilobata and Cercocarpus montanus.[2]

The plant is rare in general but locally abundant.[4] Potential threats to the species include hybridization with Physaria vitulifera, a more widespread plant,[5] limestone mining, road construction and maintenance, and introduced species of plants. The main threat is residential development.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Physaria bellii. The Nature Conservancy.
  2. ^ a b c Physaria bellii. Center for Plant Conservation.
  3. ^ Physaria bellii. Flora of North America.
  4. ^ Kothera, L., et al. (2007). Genetic diversity and structure in the rare Colorado endemic plant Physaria bellii Mulligan (Brassicaceae). Conservation Genetics 8(5) 1043-50.
  5. ^ Kothera, L., et al. (2007). Assessing the threat from hybridization to the rare endemic Physaria bellii Mulligan (Brassicaceae). Biological Conservation 140 110-18.

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