Page author: David Giblin
Boechera retrofracta
reflexed rockcress

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, and east across Canada to Ontario.

Habitat: Sagebrush desert to forest openings at middle elevations.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies, butterflies


Biennials and short-lived perennials; base of plant (caudex) simple or branched typically with single flowering stem arising from each caudex branch; basal rosette usually present.


Leaves simple; basal leaves oblanceolate, entire or dentate, pubescent above; cauline leaves auriculate (clasping at base), glabrous to pubescent.


Inflorescence a raceme with 15-100 flowers; sepals and petals 4; petals white to lavender, 4-8 mm long; flowers hanging downward.


Siliques strongly reflexed, appressed to raceme, oriented somewhat to one side, 3-9 cm. long at maturity; seeds winged, 60-100 per silique.

Accepted Name:
Boechera retrofracta (Graham) Á. Löve & D. Löve
Publication: Taxon. 31: 125. 1982.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Arabis exilis A. Nelson [ILBC2]
Arabis holboellii Hornem. var. retrofracta (Graham) Rydb. [HC]
Arabis holboellii Hornem. var. secunda (Howell) Jeps. [ILBC2]
Arabis retrofracta Graham
Arabis secunda Howell [Abrams]
Boechera holboellii (Hornem.) Á. Löve & D. Löve, misapplied [FNA7]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Boechera retrofracta in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Boechera retrofracta checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Boechera retrofracta information.

E-Flora BC: Boechera retrofracta atlas page.

CalPhotos: Boechera retrofracta photos.

USDA Plants: Boechera retrofracta information.

71 photographs:
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