Draba cuneifolia Nutt.

Draba cuneifolia plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - From a big taproot, multiple (typically) to single from the base, branching, to +/-10cm tall, herbaceous, erect, densely stellate pubescent (the hairs stipitate), purplish, terete. Lateral stems and branches ascending.

Draba cuneifolia stemStem with stellate pubescence.

Leaves - Alternate, sessile, coarsely toothed, forked and stellate pubescent on both surfaces (the hairs with swollen bases), deep shiny green above, silvery green below, to -2cm long, 1cm broad, tapering to the base, oblanceolate, acute to slightly rounded at the apex, in a basal rosette and also in the lower 1/2 of the stems.

Draba cuneifolia leaves

Inflorescence - Compact terminal racemes, quickly elongating in fruit. Pedicels to 4mm long in flower, slightly longer in fruit, densely forked and stellate pubescent, green.

Flowers - Petals 4, white, spreading, glabrous, distinct, clawed. Claw to 1mm long, slightly greenish. Limb to 4mm long, 3mm broad, emarginate at the apex, entire. Stamens 6, 4 larger and 2 smaller, distinct, erect. Filaments green, glabrous, to 2mm long. Anthers yellow, bilobed, .6-.8mm long, .5mm broad. Pollen white. Ovary green, glabrous, 1.3mm long in flower, .9mm broad. Style absent. Stigma small. Ovary 2-locular, many seeded, sessile. Sepals 4, erect to slightly spreading, distinct, green, 2-2.2mm long, 1.3mm broad, acute, entire, slightly cupped, pubescent externally with forked and stellate hairs, glabrous internally, margins slightly scarious.

Draba cuneifolia calyxCalyx.

Draba cuneifolia flower

Flowering - February - May.

Habitat - Edges and tops of bluffs, rocky open glades and ledges, rocky open woods. Typically on limestone.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This tiny species can be found mainly in the southern half of Missouri. Like others in the genus, this species is one of the first native plants to bloom in the spring.
D. cuneifolia can be easily identified in the field because of its habitat, small size, cuneate leaves, and stellate pubescence, which is found on the leaves, stems, pedicels, and calices.

Photographs taken at Danville Conservation Area, Montgomery County, MO., 3-19-04.