Boechera dentata (Raf.) Al-Shehbaz & Zarucchi

Rock Cress

Boechera dentata plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - To 50cm tall, erect to decumbent, typically simple but also sometimes branching in upper 1/2, herbaceous, from a thin taproot or fibrous roots, purplish-green, fairly densely pubescent with branching and stellate hairs.

Boechera dentata stemStem

Leaves - Alternate. Basal leaves petiolate. Petioles to +2cm long. Blades coarsely and irregularly dentate, to +10cm long, +4cm broad, spatulate to broadly obovate, slightly pubescent with branching and stellate hairs. Cauline leaves sessile, auriculate-clasping, to +5cm long, +2cm broad, coarsely and irregularly dentate, densely stellate pubescent below, glabrous above, oblanceolate to broadly oblong, acute. Margins ciliolate.

Boechera dentata leaves

Inflorescence - Terminal and axillary racemes, compact in flower, much elongated in fruit, to +20cm tall(long). Pedicels to 2m long in flower,(to 5mm in fruit), pubescent with simple and branching hairs.

Boechera dentata plant

Flowers - Petals 4, free, white, to 2.5mm long, 1mm broad, glabrous. Stamens 6. Filaments to 2mm long. Anthers yellow. Ovary longer than broad, terete, stellate pubescent. Sepals 4, free, 2mm long, 1mm broad, linear-subulate, brownish-green, sparsely stellate pubescent. Margins slightly lighter in color. Siliques terete, to 4cm long, stellate pubescent, spreading basically perpendicular to axis of inflorescence or ascending with maturity.

Boechera dentata plant

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Moist ground along streams, low woods, and bluffs.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - Steyermark named two varieties of this species in Missouri. Variety shortii has pubescent ovaries and fruit. Variety phalacarpa (M. Hopkins) Steyerm. has glabrous fruits and ovaries. Both varieties are fairly common in the state.

Photographs taken at Leawood City Park, Leawood, Kansas, 4-27-00, and in the Hercules Glade Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 4-8-01 (DETenaglia); also at Young Conservation Area, 4-18-2015 (SRTurner).