Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Carolina Draba - Tomostima reptans   (Lamarck) Al-Shehbaz, M. Koch, & Jordon-Thaden
Members of Brassicaceae:
Members of Tomostima with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Brassicaceae
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Author(Lamarck) Al-Shehbaz, M. Koch, & Jordon-Thaden
DistributionAn old collection from Lincoln County, pre-1900; and NCU lists a record of Draba caroliniana, an old name for this species, for Guilford County. From 1974-1977, it was collected twice in Lincoln County and once in Cabarrus County, all from roadsides. Weakley (2018) states: "The few occurrences in the eastern part of our area [Southeastern US] seem to make little ecological or phytogeographic sense; they may represent introductions." The website editors agree with Weakley, that this is probably not native to NC.

This is a widespread Midwestern and Western species, east to WI, IL, AR, and eastern TX. There are a few widely scattered records for NC, SC. GA, AL, etc. -- suggestive of a species not native to the eastern states.
AbundanceThe NCNHP gives it a State Rank of SH, and tracks it as Significantly Rare. However, for a species with one extremely old record, and others from the 1970s, and considering the overall range given above, the website editors suggest a State Rank of SE? (perhaps exotic).
HabitatThis is a species of dry or sandy, often sterile, soil. The Lincoln and Cabarrus county plants are all less than 1.5 inches tall and so easily overlloked.
PhenologyBlooms in February and March, and fruits in March and April.
IdentificationThis is a tiny and very slender herb, often branched at the base, but stems reach only about 4 inches long or tall. It has odd basal leaves that are quite different from other mustards in the state. The basal rosette has a number of spatulate to obovate leaves, but they are small and about 3/4-inch long, entire, but quite pubescent. The few stem leaves are near the base, ovate and very short, generally opposite. Each stem has a dense but small raceme, of white flowers with 4 petals. This species may require you to get on hands and knees to see, but the fuzzy cluster of small, rounded basal leaves is distinctive. Sadly, to see it you will need to travel west of the Mississippi River, and it probably never was a native part of the NC flora.
Taxonomic CommentsRAB (1968) and most references name or named this as Draba reptans. The genus Tomostima, to which Weakley (2018) lists it, has only six species.

Other Common Name(s)Carolina Whitlow-grass. The use of the name "Carolina" in most common names is unfortunate, as it is not likely native in the Carolinas!
State RankSH [SE?]
Global RankG5
State StatusSR-P
US Status
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