Perennials; (caudex simple or few-branched); (glaucous), usually glabrous, (petioles of basal leaves pubescent, sometimes sepals). Stems un-branched or branched, (1-)3-9(-11) dm. Basal leaves rosulate; petiolate (petioles broadly winged, setose-ciliate); blade usually spatulate to obovate, rarely narrowly oblanceolate, 1.5-8(-11) cm, margins dentate (at least distally). Cauline leaves: blade broadly oblong to ovate, suborbicular, or lanceolate, 2-9 cm × 7-45(-60) mm, (smaller distally), base auriculate to amplexicaul, margins entire or toothed, (apex rounded, obtuse, or acuminate to acute). Racemes ebracteate, (lax). Fruiting pedicels divaricate-ascending, (straight), 3-11(-14) mm. Flowers: calyx campanulate; sepals greenish brown to purple, (broadly oblong), 5-12 mm, (lateral pair subsaccate basally), not keeled, (glabrous or subapically bristly); petals purple to brownish, (claw purplish), 9-15 mm, blade 2-6 × 0.7-1 mm, (recurved or not), margins not crisped, claw 7-10 mm, wider than blade; stamens in 3 unequal pairs; filaments (distinct): abaxial pair 5-7 mm, lateral pair 4-5 mm, adaxial pair 7.5-10 mm; anthers (all) fertile, 2.5-5 mm; gynophore 0.5-1.5 mm. Fruits ascending to divaricate-ascending, smooth, straight, flattened, 5-10.5(-14.5) cm × (2.5-)3-6(-7) mm; valves each with prominent midvein; replum straight; ovules 20-38(-46) per ovary; style 0.2-3 mm; stigma subentire to strongly 2-lobed. Seeds broadly oblong to suborbicular, 2.5-5 × 2.2-5 mm; wing 0.1-0.9 mm wide, continuous.
FNA 2010, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Herbaceous biennials to perennials, to 1 m tall, stems simple to branching, usually unbranched above the base, herbage glaucous (young stems and inflorescence sometimes pubescent), pale green in color. Leaves: Alternate, basal and cauline; basal leaves in a rosette, spatulate to obovate, rarely narrowly oblanceolate, 1.5-11 cm, margins dentate, cauline leaves becoming reduced distally, broadly oblong to ovate, suborbicular, or lanceolate, 2-9 cm long and 7-60 mm wide, margins entire to toothed, bases auriculate to clasping, apices rounded, obtuse, or acuminate to acute, blades thick and firm. Flowers: Purple to brownish with a purplish claw, petals 9-15 mm long total, blades 2-6 mm long and to 1 mm wide, recurved or not, margins not crisped, claw 7-10 mm long and wider than the blade, sepals greenish brown to purple, broadly oblong, 5-12 mm, the lateral pair with a basal sac, (not keeled), glabrous or subapically bristly, calyx campanulate, stamens in 3 unequal pairs, filaments distinct, abaxial pair 5-7 mm, lateral pair 4-5 mm, adaxial pair 7.5-10 mm, anthers fertile, 2.5-5 mm, flowers borne in bractless, lax racemes. Fruits: Capsules smooth, straight, strongly compressed, 5-14.5 cm long and 3-7 mm wide, ascending to divaricate-ascending, valves each with a prominent midvein. Seeds broadly oblong to suborbicular, 2.5-5 mm long and 2-5 mm wide, with wings to 1 mm wide, these co Ecology: Found on rocky soils among gravel, in crevices, from 2,000-8,000 ft (610-2438 m); flowering March-May. Distribution: Wyoming to Oregon, south to New Mexico and California. Notes: The small, urn-shaped flowers with 4 purple, spreading lobes and the thick, firm leaves help to identify this species. The flower buds are a deep purple prior to blooming. Ethnobotany: Root juice used as eye drops for sore eyes. Used for greens in foods. Synonyms: There is some uncertainty if this species is synonymous with Streptanthus lemmonii and hence with Caulanthus lemmonii Editor: LCrumbacher 2012 Etymology: The meaning of Streptanthus comes from the Greek streptas, "twisted," and anthos, "flower", while cordatus means heart-shaped.