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Low Braya - Braya humilis
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from four locations in the state, including one site in which only one plant was observed. One population occurs in an area with historical mining activity and may have been detrimentally impacted. Another populations occurs along the Rocky Mtn Front and is actively monitored; population levels may be declining at this site based upon preliminary data.
Plants: Braya is a short-lived perennial with 1 to several erect to prostrate stems, 3-20 cm long, which arise from a simple or branched rootcrown and taproot.
Leaves: The numerous basal leaves are lance-shaped and 1-3 cm long with entire or toothed margins. The widely spaced stem leaves are alternate and smaller. Foliage is sparsely to densely covered with simple and branched hairs.
Flowers: Borne on short stalks in terminal clusters that expand as the fruit matures. Each flower has 4 white petals, which are 3-4 mm long, 4 sepals, 4 long stamens, and 2 short stamens.
Fruit: The erect or spreading linear fruits (siliques) are puberulent (Lesica 2012), ca 1-3 cm in length, 0.6-2 mm in width, and typically straight, but occasionally torulose (constricting between the seeds) (FNA 2010).
Flowering from mid-June at lower elevation sites to late July in alpine settings.
Alaska to Greenland south to British Columbia, Alberta, and Vermont with disjunct populations in western Montana, northwest Wyoming and central Colorado.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Sparsely vegetated, vernally moist, calcareous soil in the alpine zone and similar sites with sparse vegetation cover dominated by Potentilla fruticosa, Carex scirpoidea, Phlox kelsey and Zigadenus elegans in montane settings along the Rocky Mtn Front.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
Threats or Limiting Factors
STATE THREAT SCORE REASON
Reported threats to Montana's populations of Low Braya are currently assigned as unknown. Among few, small, and geographically isolated populations, one occurs in an area of extensive historic mining activity. This area may have potential for mining operations to return, but this is unlikely to be relevant in a 10-year time frame (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 1997. Colorado Rare Plant Field Guide. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2010. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 7. Magnoliophyta: Salicaceae to Brassicaceae. Oxford University Press, Inc., NY. 832 pp.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Carron, J. No date. Population and extinction probability modeling of Braya humilis. The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Field Office. 9 pp.
- Lesica, P. and P. F. Stickney. 1994. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 41:228-231.
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