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Draba breweri
Draba cana. SynonymsDraba breweri variety cana, Draba breweri, Draba lanceolata. (Brewer's Draba)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine.  Meadows, tundra.  Summer. 
Cinnamon Pass, August 1, 2007.

Draba cana grows from four to ten inches tall from a loose mat of leaves and few to many stems.  The specimen shown is about seven inches tall and is unusually dense and luxurious.  Petals are just two or three millimeters long and seed pods (siliques) are vertical, hairy, and up to nine millimeters long.

In the Four Corners area, Draba cana is found just in Colorado and New Mexico, but not in any counties immediately adjacent to the Four Corners.  It is also found in several counties in most western states, even rarely in two California counties. (It was in California that D. breweri, a plant with which D. cana is commonly confused, was collected on Mount Dana in 1863 by William Brewer, botanist to the Whitney Expedition.  (More biographical information about Brewer.)  That plant was named D. breweri by Sereno Watson in 1888.) 

Draba cana of the Four Corners area was found by J. Macoun in the Rocky Mountain Foothills of Alberta in 1887 and was named by Rydberg in 1902.

There has been, and continues to be, disagreement about the name and characteristics of this plant: the name D. lanceolata, given by Royle in 1839 to a Eurasian species, was misapplied to this plant throughout the 19th and much of the 20th century (see Harrington's Manual of the Plants of Colorado).  D. cana,  given by Rydberg in 1902, is accepted today by Kartesz, Intermountain Flora, and A Utah Flora.  Weber's 2012 edition of Colorado Flora now also accepts Draba cana. 

Disagreements also arise over the plant's characteristics: it is variously described as up to 9, 25, and 35 centimeters tall; growing in clumps, growing in open clumps, and not growing in clumps.  The same wide variety of detail is found in the number of stem leaves, length of the seed pod, etc.

The species is apparently also found in the upper mid-west and east, where, in Maine, it is considered rare and endangered.

Draba breweri
Draba cana. SynonymsDraba breweri variety cana, Draba breweri, Draba lanceolata. (Brewer's Draba)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine.  Meadows, tundra.  Summer. 
Cinnamon Pass, August 1, 2007.

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 Draba cana