Physaria acutifolia tends to be somewhat dwarfed, with a branched caudex and especially long styles (var. stylosa), where it grows at high elevations, especially at the western end of the Uinta Mountains in Utah. Intermediates form an uninterrupted cline and no infraspecific taxa are here recognized. In R. C. Rollins (1939), the discussion of P. acutifolia actually pertains to P. rollinsii. The discussion of P. australis pertains to what is now known as P. acutifolia. The plants are usually found in open soil patches, rarely into the subalpine or alpine tundra.