[Drabas and Whitlow Grass East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba

Draba densifolia

Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula

Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Denseleaf draba as seen on serpentine slopes along the Canyon Mountain Trail #218, Strawberry Mt. Wilderness.......June 21, 2011.

Characteristics:

Nuttall's Draba is a tufted, matted perennial wildflower with numerous spreading, leafy branches from 2-7 cm long which form a mat up to 20 cm across. Numerous dead leaves are found on the lower stems while the living leaves are found above. The leaves are linear to oblanceolate in shape with rounded tips and measure 2-12 mm long and 0.5-3 mm wide. The midrib is prominent on the blade and the margins often crisped. The blades are glabrous except for a few forked or star-shaped hairs on the lower surface and the margins which are ringed with simple, stiff hairs up to 1 mm long.

The inflorescence is a 3- to 15- flowered raceme atop the leafless scape which measures 0.3-15 cm high. The scapes are glabrous to moderately covered with stiff, simple to forked hairs. The petals are yellow and 2-6 mm long. The fruit is a compressed, lance-ovate silicle from 3-6 mm long and 2-3.5 mm wide. The silicle is sparsely covered with simple to radiate hairs.


Habitat:

Nuttall's Draba may be found on open rocky ridges and peaks at middle to upper elevations in the mountains.


Range:

Nuttall's Draba is found to the east of the Cascade Mts. from southern British Columbia south through Washington and Oregon to the Sierra Nevada Mts. of California. It is found eastward to the Blue and Wallowa Mts. of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington and further east to Idaho, Montana, western Wyoming and Utah.


Close-up of the flowers of Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula) - Close-up of the flowers of Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Close-up sideview of the flowers of Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula) - Basal cluster of leaves of Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Additional close-ups of denseleaf draba as seen at about 6000' along FS Road 5401-811, on the northern approach to Baldy Mountain, Malheur National Forest........June 3, 2011.

Basal leaf tufts of Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula) - Fruits of Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula) - Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Additional close-up views of denseleaf draba as seen atop Baldy Mountain, Strawberry Mt. Wilderness.......July 2, 2010.

Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula) - Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Denseleaf draba as seen on serpentine slopes along the Canyon Mountain Trail #218, Strawberry Mt. Wilderness.......May 29, 2014.

Fruits of Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Seed pods of denseleaf draba as seen on serpentine slopes along the Canyon Mountain Trail #218, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.........August 19, 2011.

The photo above shows Nuttall's Draba as photographed near the summit of Strawberry Mt., Strawberry Wilderness.........July 5, 2002. Note the ovate to ovate-elliptic shape of the fruits and their coarse covering of hairs. A leaf with ciliate margins is shown at upper center.

Denseleaf Draba, Dense-leaf Whitlow-grass, Nuttall's Draba: Draba densifolia (Synonyms: Draba caruleomontana, Draba caeruleomontana var. piperi, Draba nelsonii, Draba pectinata, Draba sphaerula)

Denseleaf draba as seen atop Baldy Mountain, Strawberry Mt. Wilderness.......July 2, 2010.

Paul Slichter