Boechera sparsiflora
elegant rockcress, slender rockcress

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.

Habitat: From sagebrush plains to forest openings and meadows at moderate elevations.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies, butterflies


Short-lived perennials or biennials, from an unbranched crown; stems 30-80 cm tall, pubescence dense near base with simple and some short-stalked trichomes with 2 rays, 0.4-1.5 mm, becoming glabrous or sparsely pubescent towards ends of stems.


Basal leaves oblanceolate to narrowly oblanceolate, 3-12 mm broad, margins typically entire or uncommonly toothed, ciliate near base with trichomes, typically simple, to 1 mm, densely pubescent above and beneath with 2-5-rayed trichomes on short-stalks and up to 0.8 mm; cauline leaves 15-35, usually hiding stem near base, lobe-like appendages 3-10 mm, surfaces towards ends of stems glabrous with occasional ciliate margins.


Inflorescence usually 12-50-flowered, typically unbranched racemes; fruiting pedicels ascending or uncommonly spreading horizontally, curving somewhat downward or not, 3-10 mm, generally pubescent with spreading simple trichomes, uncommonly glabrous, not secund; flowers ascending; sepals 4, slightly pubescent; petals 4, pale to bright purple, or pinkish purple, uncommonly white, 7-13 mm long and 2-5 mm broad, glabrous; pollen ellipsoid.

Fruits :

Siliques 5-13 cm long and 1.7-2 mm broad, ascending or uncommonly nearly horizontal, not appressed to rachis, generally curved, edges parallel; valves glabrous; seeds in 1 series, 1.5-2 mm long and 1-1.5 mm broad, with a continuous wing to 0.2 mm broad.

Accepted Name:
Boechera sparsiflora (Nutt.) Dorn
Publication: Vasc. Pl. Wyoming ed. 3. 376. 2001. 2001.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Arabis arcoidea A. Nelson
Arabis campyloloba Greene [Abrams]
Arabis peramoena Greene
Arabis polytricha Greene
Arabis sparsiflora Nutt. [HC]
Arabis sparsiflora Nutt. var. peramoena (Greene) Rollins
Arabis sparsiflora Nutt. var. sparsiflora [HC]
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Boechera sparsiflora checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Boechera sparsiflora information.

E-Flora BC: Boechera sparsiflora atlas page.

CalPhotos: Boechera sparsiflora photos.

USDA Plants: Boechera sparsiflora information.

55 photographs:
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