E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Descurainia pinnata subsp. brachycarpa (Walter) Britton (Richardson) Detling
short-fruited tansymustard
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Descurainia pinnata subsp. brachycarpa
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems 10-60 cm tall, simple or branched above, sparsely hairy, multibranched, often stalked-glandular above.
Basal and lower stem leaves once or twice pinnately lobed, linear to egg-shaped, hairy, 3-10 cm long; upper stem leaves once pinnate to almost entire, generally glabrous, rarely glandular, 1-10 cm long.
Racemes elongate; flower stalks 6-12 mm long, at about 45 degrees to axis of inflorescence; petals yellow, erect, 2-3 mm long, exceeding sepals by about 0.5 mm; sepals 1.5-2.5 mm long.
Siliques, somewhat thicker towards the tips, rounded above, about as long as or shorter than the stalks, 7-12 (15) mm long; styles short, not beaklike; seeds 1-20 per chamber, partially in 2 rows, about 0.8 mm long.
Two highly variable, and often intergrading, varieties occur in our region.

1. Siliques 4-12 mm long, usually nearly equal to or longer than the stalks....................... ssp. intermedia (Rydb.) Detl.

1. Siliques 10-20 mm long, usually shorter than the stalks.................. ssp. filipes (A. Gray) Detl.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry shrublands and waste places in the montane and steppe zones; common in S BC, S to E WA, CO, NV and E CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Descurainia pinnata ssp. brachycarpa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 975 1067 1160
Slope Gradient (%) 20 42 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
150 205 262
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 1
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: IDF(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Descurainia brachycarpa (Richardson) O.E. Schulz
Descurainia pinnata var. brachycarpa (Richardson) Fernald
Sisymbrium brachycarpum Richardson
Sophia brachycarpa (Richardson) Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References