Boechera species

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Scientific Name Boechera retrofracta (Arabis holboellii var. retrofracta) USDA PLANTS Symbol BORE6
Common Name Reflexed Rockcress, Second Rockcress ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 509596
Family Brassicaceae (Mustard) SEINet
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Description Life zones and habitat: Foothills to subalpine (6000 to 10500 ft); forests, dry slopes, and sagebrush meadows.
Plant: Erect, wispy-looking biennial or short-lived perennial 6 to 40 inches tall, usually single-stemmed; lower stem covered with pubescent hairs.
Leaves: Basal leaves 3/8 to 1-1/8 inches long, oblong to oblanceolate, pointed tips and fine pubescent hairs; stem leaves oblong or lanceolate 1 to 1-1/2 inches long, with small ears at base, clasping.
Inflorescence: Numerous white to purplish drooping flowers in a raceme, each about 1/2-inch long overall with hairy calyx tube and pedicel.
Bloom Period: May to July.
Fruit: Long (up to 3+ inches), very narrow seed pods drooping downward from a sharply-bent pedicels.
Reference: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, "Alpine Flora of the Rocky Mountains" by Richard Scott, "A Guide to Rocky Mountain Plants" by Nelson and Williams, Montana Field Guide and SEINet.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Scientific Name Boechera stricta (Arabis drummondii) USDA PLANTS Symbol ARDR
Common Name Drummond's Rockcress ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 822989
Family Brassicaceae (Mustard) SEINet
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Description Life zones and habitat: Montane to alpine (7000 to 13000 ft). Gravelly or rocky slopes, meadows, openings.
Plant: Erect perennial 1 to 3 feet tall (6 to 18 inches at altitude), usually 1 but up to 4 slender stem.
Leaves: Mostly basal leaves from a rosette, 3/4 to 3 inches long, narrow, oblanceolate, pointed tip, fleshy.
Inflorescence: Several small, erect blossoms in a raceme, each with 4 white to pale lavender petals.
Bloom Period: May to August.
Reference: "Guide to Colorado Wildflowers" by G.K. Guennel and "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield.
Note: In early spring, some plants become infected with Puccinia monoica, a rust fungus that stops the rock cress from flowering and forces it to form the brilliant yellow pseudoflowers containing the reproductive structures of the rust fungus. See last group of photos below, taken at Mayflower Gulch and Georgia Pass, Summit County. For more information about the fungus, click here.
BONAP Distribution Map Colorado Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2020