Boechera paupercula
small-flowered rockcress

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in the Olympic Mountains in Washington; Washington to California, east to Idaho and Wyoming.

Habitat: Rocky slopes and talus, subalpine to alpine.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Review Group 1 in Washington (WANHP)


Long-lived perennials, from a typically woody crown; stems simple from each caudex branch, 3-15 cm tall, pubescence dense near base with simple and short-stalked trichomes, 2-4-rayed, to 0.2 mm, becoming glabrous or sparsely pubescent distally.


Basal leaves narrowly oblanceolate, usually 1-3 mm broad, margins entire, ciliate near base with 0.4 mm trichomes, densely pubescent above and beneath with 2-6-rayed trichomes on short-stalks and up to 0.2 mm; cauline leaves 2-6, not commonly hiding the stem, lobe-like appendages at base usually absent or up to 1.5 mm, surfaces becoming glabrous towards ends of stems.


Inflorescence usually 3-8-flowered, unbranched racemes; fruiting pedicels erect, not curved, 3-9 mm, glabrous or barely pubescent, not secund; flowers erect; sepals 4, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; petals 4, purplish to light purple, 4-6 mm long and 1-2 mm broad, glabrous; pollen ellipsoid.


Siliques 2.5-5.5 cm long and 1.3-1.7 mm broad, erect, appressed to rachis, not curved, with parallel edges; valves glabrous; seeds in 1 series or uncommonly in nearly 2 series, 1.5-2 mm long and 1-1.4 mm broad, with a continuous wing 0.3-1 mm broad.

Accepted Name:
Boechera paupercula (Greene) Windham & Al-Shehbaz
Publication: Harvard Pap. Bot. 11: 75. 2006.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Arabis lyallii S. Watson var. nubigena (J.F. Macbr. & Payson) Rollins
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Boechera paupercula checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Boechera paupercula atlas page.

CalPhotos: Boechera paupercula photos.

USDA Plants: Boechera paupercula information.

4 photographs:
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