Arabidopsis lyrata (Lyre-leaved Rock Cress)

Plant Info
Also known as: Lyrate Rockcress, Sand Cress, Harp-leaf Rockcress
Genus:Arabidopsis
Family:Brassicaceae (Mustard)
Life cycle:biennial, short-lived perennial
Origin:native
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):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 4-petals Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] 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: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of basal leaves] 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.

[photo of stem leaves] 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: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] 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,

Notes:

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.

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More photos

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.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Brian - Chimney Rock SNA
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.

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