White Arctic Draba - Draba fladnizensis
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is currently known from a few scattered alpine locations in the southern half of the state. Additional sites are likely to be documented in the future and the species does not appear to be at significant risk due to the remoteness of its habitat.
White Arctic Draba is a low perennial herb with 1 to a few leafless stems that are 2-6 cm high and which arise from basal leaf rosettes that, in turn, arise from the ends of a simple or branched rootcrown. The narrowly lance-shaped leaves are 15-25 mm long and have long, straight hairs on the entire margins; otherwise, they are glabrous or sparsely hairy. 3-12 stalked flowers are borne at the tops of the stems. Each flower has 4 separate sepals, 4 separate, white petals that are ca. 2-3 mm long, and 4 long and 2 short stamens. The style is less than 0.5 mm long or absent. The glabrous, narrowly egg-shaped capsules are 3-9 mm long and are borne on erect or ascending stalks.
Flowering in July-August.
There are many similar-appearing species of draba in our area. A technical manual and hand lens or microscope are required for positive identification. Draba crassifolia is similar but has yellow flowers. Draba lonchocarpa and D. porsildii have white flowers but the leaves have branched hairs and lack the long, straight hairs on the margins.
Circumpolar, south in North America to British Columbia, Utah, and Colorado. Sparse.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Rocky, open soil in the alpine zone.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.