Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Branched Draba - Draba ramosissima   Desvaux
Members of Brassicaceae:
Members of Draba with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Capparales » Family Brassicaceae
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DistributionPresent in the central portion of the Mountains, north only to Madison and Buncombe counties; no record yet west of Jackson County. As it is widespread in the VA mountains, it should occur in the northern Mountains of NC.

This is a Southern Appalachian species, found from MD, WV, and KY south to western NC and eastern TN.
AbundanceLocally numerous in the Hot Springs area of Madison County, but rare elsewhere in the small 5-county region of occurrence in NC. This is a Significantly Rare species.
HabitatThis is a rock outcrop species, normally found over calcareous or mafic rocks in the state. It grows in crevices of rocks, along margins of rocks, in in rocky forests and summits. Most records are over limestone in the Hot Springs Window region of Madison County.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, and fruits from May to July.
IdentificationThis species is a bit mat-forming, though sending up erect flowering stems, to about 9-12 inches tall. There is a basal rosette of leaves, and the stem leaves are alternate, ascending, elliptical to lanceolate, about 1-inch long and much narrower. Upper leaves can be slightly clasping. The inflorescence is usually a branched set of racemes, each about 2 inches long. The numerous white flowers have 4 petals and a spread of nearly 1/2-inch across, moderately sizable for the size of the plants. Though showy in bloom, the equally rare Arabis patens also grows in similar places, in dry rocky places with high pH soil. That species is a taller plant and not mat-forming, and it has wider and toothed leaves. Because Draba is mat-forming, quite a few flowering stalks can been seen in a small area, quite striking indeed in bloom.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Branched Whitlow-grass, Appalachian Draba, Rocktwist. The use of a genus name (i.e., Draba) for the group common name is a bit troubling, except in well known genera such as Magnolia. However, Branched Draba is, by far, the most frequently used common name.
State RankS2
Global RankG4
State StatusSR-P
US Status
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