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Lanceleaf Draba Draba breweri var. cana (Draba lanceolata, Draba cana, Draba stylaris)


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Lanceleaf Draba
credit: Kurt Stueber/CCSA

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Alternate name: Cushion Draba, Cushion Whitlow-grass

Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard view all from this family

Description Small white flowers in open racemes growing from densely velvety, grayish, basal rosettes.
Habit: native perennial herb; hairy, gray; can be mat-forming.
Height: 2-15 in (5-38 cm)
Leaf: in basal rosette, oblong to spatulate, stalked, slightly toothed, 0.3-1.4 in (8-35 mm) long, to 0.2 in (5 mm) wide or rarely wider; on stem, smaller, reduced, stalkless.
Flower: white, 4-parted, to 0.5 in (12 mm) wide; each petal has single notch at tip; held in stalked terminal cluster of 10-60 flowerheads.
Fruit: flat, twisted pod, 0.2-0.5 in (5-12 mm) long; held erect and close to the stem.

Flower May to August.

Habitat Open, dry sites: meadows, rock crevices, rock outcrops and talus, prairie benchlands, roadsides, meadows, alpine tundra; to 13,500 ft (4100 m).

Range Found throughout Canada except some parts of the far north; in the western U.S., from Alaska south to California, east to New Mexico, north to Montana and South Dakota, but not reported in Oregon and Arizona; around the Great Lakes in Wisconsin and Michigan; and in the northeast U.S. from Vermont to Maine.

Discussion Also known as cushion draba, lance-leaved draba, lanceolate cress, lanceolate whitlow-cress, ashy whitlow-grass, hoary whitlow-grass. Endangered, threatened or sensitive in Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

There are about 300 species in this genus, distinguished mostly by technical features. Small, tufted, alpine plants with short, flat or swollen pods are likely to be Draba.