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Lyre-leaf Rockcress Arabis lyrata


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Lyre-leaf Rockcress
credit: bottomdollar/CCSA

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Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard view all from this family

Description An erect stem rising from a rosette of basal leaves with a terminal cluster of small, white or greenish-white flowers.
Habit: native biennial or short-lived perennial herb; stems are hairy at base, weak branches at top.
Height: 4-16 in
Leaf: at base, lyrate, deeply lobed; on stem, smaller, linear, unlobed.
Flower: white, 0.25-0.5 in (6-12 mm) wide, with 4 oblong petals; held in small loose terminal cluster.
Fruit: long, narrow, flat pod, to 1 in long; held erect and outward.

Flower April to July.

Habitat Dry sites: cliffs, ledges; in gravelly or sandy soil.

Range Found throughout most of Canada; in the U.S., in Alaska, Montana, and northeastern U.S., from Vermont and Massachusets, south to North Carolina, west through Tennessee to Missouri, and north to Minnesota; also reported in Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Georgia.

Discussion Also known as lyrate rockcress, sand cress. Threatened or endangered in Massachusets, Ohio, and Vermont.

Other common members of this genus are Hairy Rockcress (A. hirsuta), with a basal rosette of hairy, oblong leaves, clasping stem leaves, and pods that are erect or pressed against the stem; and Smooth Rockcress (A. laevigata), with smooth, lanceolate, clasping leaves and down-curved or horizontal pods.