Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Draba verna
spring whitlow-grass

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, and from the central U.S. and eastern Canada to the Atlantic Coast; circumboreal.

Habitat: Shrub-steppe, grasslands, and open disturbed areas at low to middle elevations.

Flowers: February-May

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Small annual herb 5-20 cm tall.


All basal, simple, narrow, with weak teeth on margin and stellate hairs on surface.


White, small, with 4 deeply notched petals; in racemes at top of stems.


Elliptic capsules (siliques).

Identification Notes:

One of the earliest species to bloom in spring; plants are small; leaves all basal with branched hairs; flowers white with 4 deeply notched petals.

Accepted Name:
Draba verna L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 642. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Draba verna L. var. aestivalis Lej. [Peck]
Draba verna L. var. boerhaavii H.C. Hall [HC]
Draba verna L. var. verna [HC]
Erophila verna (L.) DC. ssp. spathulata Walters
Erophila verna (L.) DC. var. praecox (Steven) Diklic [Stace 1997]
Erophila verna (L.) DC. var. verna [Stace 1997]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Draba verna in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Draba verna checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Draba verna atlas page.

CalPhotos: Draba verna photos.

USDA Plants: Draba verna information.

55 photographs:
Group by