Streptanthella longirostris (Little Twistflower, Long-beaked Twistflower)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)
Semi-desert. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring.
Purple flower buds top a tall, swaying stem and tiny urn-shaped yellow/white/purple flowers gradually unfold. The stem continues to elongate with a bud blossoming into a flower every few days depending on the moisture and temperature.
Growing in the open, Streptanthella longirostris tends to be compact, straight, and about 12-18 inches tall. Starting life under a rock or in the shade of Pinus edulis forces the plant to stretch for sunlight in an open, elongated, crooked, staggering growth pattern up to three feet tall.
Sereno Watson collected the first specimen of this plant on Stansbury Island in the Great Salt Lake in 1869 and he at first named the plant Arabis longirostris in 1871, then renamed it Streptanthus longirostris in 1890, then Thelypodium longirostris in the Jepson Manual of 1925. Per Axel Rydberg gave the plant its presently accepted name in his 1917 Flora of the Rocky Mountains and Adjacent Plains.
Streptanthella longirostris' beak-like tips of its numerous, drooping seeds gives rise to its species name: "longirostris" is Latin for "long beak".