SEARCH AND WILDFLOWER HOME PAGE     PINK/RED/ORANGE FLOWERS     CONTACT US



Smelowskia americana. Synonym: Smelowskia calycina variety americana. (American Smelowsky, False Candytuft)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine.  Rock, meadows, tundra. Summer.
Cross Mountain Trail, July 7, 2008.

In the Four Corners area Smelowskia americana occurs just in Colorado and Utah.  It is found high in the mountains above tree-line in rocky areas where it grows two-to-eight inches tall and typically spreads about six inches.  Flowers are reminiscent of those of Candytuft and it is sometimes called "Fern-leaf Wild Candytuft".

The plant was first named Lepidium calycinum by Stephan in 1800 from collections made in Siberia. Click for the Flora of China description of this species. The species was renamed Smelowskia calycina by Friedrich Karl Meyer in 1831. 

Per Axel Rydberg named the American specimens of this plant Smelowskia americana, but until just recently most botanists continued to call the American species, Smelowskia calycina variety americana. Genetic research published in 2004 on the world's approximately 7 species of Smelowskia by Warwick et al. indicated that our American Smelowskia is distinct enough from other Smelowskias, including the Siberian S. calycina, that it merits the species status that Rydberg gave it. In short, we should be calling our species Smelowskia americana. See the Flora of North America.

Timotheus Smelowsky (1769-1815) was a Russian pharmacist and botanist from St. Petersburg. "Calycina" means "with calyx".

Click to see the rocky habitat of Smelowskia americana.

Smelowskia americana. Synonym: Smelowskia calycina variety americana. . (American Smelowsky, False Candytuft)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine.  Rock, meadows, tundra. Summer.
Cross Mountain Trail, July 7, 2008.

Smelowskia americana. Synonym: Smelowskia calycina variety americana. . (American Smelowsky, False Candytuft)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine.  Rock, meadows, tundra. Summer.
Cinnamon Pass, August 1, 2007.

Smelowskia americana. Synonym: Smelowskia calycina variety americana. . (American Smelowsky, False Candytuft)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine.  Rock, meadows, tundra. Summer.
Cross Mountain Trail, August 8, 2007.

Fine hairs cover the leaves and stems giving them a soft green appearance.  (See the next photograph).

Smelowskia calycina

Smelowskia americana. Synonym: Smelowskia calycina variety americana. . (American Smelowsky, False Candytuft)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine.  Rock, meadows, tundra. Summer.
Cross Mountain Trail, August 8, 2007.

Ripening and ripened seed pods.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Smelowskia americana