Arabidopsis lyrata (Lyre-leaved Rock Cress)
|Also known as:||Lyrate Rockcress, Sand Cress, Harp-leaf Rockcress|
|Life cycle:||biennial, short-lived perennial|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry sandy or rocky soil; dunes, cliffs, prairies, open woods|
|Bloom season:||April - August|
|Plant height:||4 to 15 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: none MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.
Loose, elongating clusters of stalked flowers at the ends of branching stems. Flowers are ¼ to ½ inch across with 4 rounded white petals and 6 yellow stamens. The 4 sepals behind the flower are half as long as the petals or less.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are mostly basal, with a few leaves widely spaced along the stem. Basal leaves are up to 2 inches long, covered in short stiff hairs with a large lobe at the tip and usually at least one pair of short, oblong lateral lobes, and a short stalk. The basal leaves typically wither away by flowering time.
Stem leaves are about 1 inch long, linear-elliptic to narrowly spatula shaped, mostly toothless, hairless, stalkless, and widely spaced on the stem. Stems are hairless in the upper plant and usually hairy to some degree near the base. Multiple stems may arise from the base, erect, or prostrate but rising near the tip (decumbent).
Fruit is a slender pod about 1 inch long, held at about the same angle as the associated flower stalk, pointing upward. The pods become flattened as they ripen,
Lyre-leaved Rock Cress, formerly Arabis lyrata, can be seen (among other places) along the St. Croix River, seemingly growing out of the solid rock of the cliff face along the river. It resembles Mouse-ear Cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), which has smaller flowers, broader stem leaves, unlobed basal leaves, has a preference for disturbed soil, and is more likely to colonize than Lyre-leaved Rock Cress. Flora of North America recognizes 3 subspecies, with subsp. lyrata found in Minnesota, the other 2 found farther north and west in North America as well as in northern Europe and Asia.
Please visit our sponsors
Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration and Landscaping Services ↓
- early season Lyre-leaved Rock Cress
- late season Lyre-leaved Rock Cress
- Lyre-leaved Rock Cress along the St. Croix River
- more flowers
Photos by K. Chayka taken at William O'Brien State Park in Washington County, Vermillion Falls and Pine Bend SNA in Dakota County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Washington County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?
on: 2016-04-30 22:26:07
This species is at peak bloom right now at Chimney Rock Scientific and Natural Area in Dakota County. I was there today. There are some beautiful displays both on the outcrops and in the sandy areas.
on: 2021-05-10 10:52:36
I found this species in bloom on a boulder on the east side of the road about three miles south of the US 63/CR 68 junction on May 8, 2021. CR 68 runs along the Cannon River just south of Zumbro Falls.
on: 2022-05-08 14:43:48
I have a comment about the leaves: the basal leaves on our plants never wither away by flowering time. I was surprised to read that, so I've been checking, and all of our flowering plants still have a rosette of basal leaves. Here's one example: https://www.prairiehaven.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Arabidopsis-lyrata-05-03-2022.jpg I love your site - thanks for doing it! Marcie
on: 2022-05-27 06:27:31
This grows on my trail. Very sparse. One of the first blooming flowers I see, beginning in May.