North Central Washington

Pseudoflowers of the rust Puccinia on Arabis holboellii and Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides

Here are pictures of the pseudoflowers of the rust, Puccinia, infecting Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides and Arabis holboellii.

In addition to its flower-like appearance, the rust Puccinia emits a strong, sultry, daffodil-like scent. It is one of the first "flowers" to bloom, and has fooled both bumblebees and botanists on many occasions. It has recently received quite a bit of scientific scrutiny. Less known is that it infects Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides, a plant of the Columbia basalt lithosol communities, in addition to Arabis species. The photos show both infected and uninfected Phoenicaulis plants from the Ephrata area, taken in 1996 by George Wooten.

Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger image.

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Arabis holboellii
infected by Puccinia.
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Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides
infected by Puccinia.
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Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides
un-infected by Puccinia.