Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Smelowskia americana
alpine smelowskia, Siberian smelowskia

Distribution: Occurring In the Olympic and Cascades mountains in Washington; British Columbia to Nevada, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Rocky areas at high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Grayish, mat-forming perennial from a much-branched crown, the simple stems 6-20 cm. tall, the herbage with mixed pubescence, long, soft, simple or forked, and shorter and freely branched.


Basal leaves 1-4 cm. long, ovate or obovate, pinnate or pinnatifid, the segments linear to narrowly obovate; petioles slender, at least as long as the blades, with long, stiff, simple hairs on the margins near the base; cauline leaves similar, alternate, several, reduced.


Inflorescence a bractless, flat-topped raceme, becoming elongate in fruit; pedicles ascending to erect; sepals 4, 2-3.5 mm, often purplish-tinged, soon deciduous; petals 4, usually white, rarely pinkish or lavender, suborbicular to obovate, 3.5-6.5 mm long; stamens 6; style 0.3-1 mm. long, stigma discoid.


Siliques linear-oblong, 5-13 mm. long and 1.5-2.5 mm. broad, glabrous, 4-angled; seeds in 1 series.

Accepted Name:
Smelowskia americana Rydb.
Publication: Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 29: 239. 1902.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Smelowskia calycina (Stephan) C.A. Mey., misapplied [HC, Peck]
Smelowskia calycina (Stephan) C.A. Mey. var. americana (Regel & Herder) W.H. Drury & Rollins [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Smelowskia americana in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Smelowskia americana checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Smelowskia americana atlas page.

CalPhotos: Smelowskia americana photos.

USDA Plants: Smelowskia americana information.

19 photographs:
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