Boechera suffrutescens
woody rockcress

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in central and southeastern Washington; central Washington to California, east to central Idaho.

Habitat: Rocky slopes and dry ridges in ponderosa pine forest openings and sagebrush desert.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Review Group 1 in Washington (WANHP)


Long-lived perennials from a woody crown; stems simple from each caudex branch, 10-40 cm tall, typically glabrous near base, uncommonly pubescent with short-stalked trichomes with 2 rays to 0.3 mm, becoming glabrous towards ends of stems.


Basal leaves narrowly oblanceolate, 1.5-6 mm broad, margins entire, not ciliate or uncommonly with 0.7 mm simple trichomes, glabrous or slightly to densely pubescent above and beneath with 2-6-rayed trichomes on short-stalks and up to 0.4 mm; cauline leaves 6-12, occasionally hiding stem near base, lobe-like appendages 0.5-2 mm, surfaces glabrous towards ends of stems.


Inflorescence usually 6-12-flowered, typically unbranched racemes; fruiting pedicels curving downward, usually curving abruptly as base, otherwise not curved, 4-18 mm, glabrous, commonly secund; flowers pendent; sepals 4, glabrous; petals 4, purple or whitish with rose tips, 4.5-6 mm long and 2-2.5 mm broad, glabrous; pollen ellipsoid to spheroid.

Fruits :

Siliques 3-7 cm long and 3-5 mm broad, bent downward to closely pendent, occasionally appressed to rachis, slightly curved or not, edges not parallel; valves glabrous; seeds in 1 series, 2.5-5.5 mm long and 1.8-3.5 mm broad, with a continuous wing 0.8-1.5 mm broad.

Accepted Name:
Boechera suffrutescens (S. Watson) Dorn
Publication: Brittonia. 55: 3. 2003.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Arabis suffrutescens S. Watson [HC]
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Boechera suffrutescens checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Boechera suffrutescens atlas page.

CalPhotos: Boechera suffrutescens photos.

USDA Plants: Boechera suffrutescens information.

3 photographs:
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