Arabis arenicola (Richards. ex Hook.) Gelert
Species Image Gallery
(opens in a new window)
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Arabis
Species Synonyms: none
Common Names: sand rockcress
arctic rock-cress
Canada: Mackenzie District (Northwest Territories) - Keewatin District, Nunavut to Baffin Island, south to northwestern Saskatchewan, northern Manitoba - northern Ontario
Saskatchewan: northwestern Saskatchewan; Lake Athabasca
Ecoregion: Athabasca Plain, Tazin Lake Upland
Saskatchewan: sand dunes and gravel flats
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G5 S2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Why rare?
Height: 10 – 30 cm
Roots: taproot long, slender
Stems: perennial, erect, with coarse, stiff hairs below, otherwise hairless
Leaves: basal and on the stem; basal leaves many, tufted, 1 – 7 cm long, 4 – 7 mm wide, spoon-shaped to inversely lance-shaped, purple in age, hairless or with coarse hairs below, margin entire to shallowly toothed with up to three pairs of teeth, slightly fleshy; stem leaves few, alternate, sessile, oblong, wedge-shaped at base, margin less toothed than basal leaves
Inflorescence: terminal, unbranched; flowers stalked
Flowers: small; sepals < 3 mm long; petals to 5 mm long, white or pinkish
Fruits: pod 1 – 3 cm long, 1 – 2 mm wide, ascending to spreading, hairless; seeds < 1 mm broad, in two rows, wingless; membranous partition persistent after seed dispersal
1 Stalks and fruits strongly deflexed at maturity
1 Stalks and fruits erect, ascending or spreading at maturity
2 Basal leaves densely hairy with coarse, branching hairs; stalks gently curved downwards, pods hanging or drooping
A. holboellii var. pinetorum
2 Basal leaves with fine hairs; stalks bent abruptly near base, straight or at least not uniformly curved, pods reflexed but not hanging or drooping
3 Lower stem with stiff, long, spreading simple and forked hairs; basal leaves < 5 cm long, stem leaves < 2.5 cm long and 5 mm broad; pods to 6 cm long, 1.5 mm broad
A. holboellii var. collinsii
3 Lower stem finely hairy with gray or white, star-shaped hairs; basal leaves to 8 cm long, stem leaves to 4 cm long and 9 mm broad; pods to 8 cm long and 2.5 mm broad
A. holboellii var. retrofracta
4 Stalks erect or nearly so, closely appressed to stem
4 Stalks spreading or ascending, but not erect and appressed to the stem
5 Fruits round in cross section or nearly so
A. glabra
5 Fruits flat
6 Stem hairy below; pod 3 – 5 cm long, 0.7 – 1.0 mm wide; seeds in one row in each locule
A. hirsuta var. pycnocarpa
6 Stem commonly hairless; pod 5 – 9 cm long, 1.5 – 2.3 mm wide; seeds in two rows in each locule
A. drummondii
7 Stem leaves with ear-like lobes at the base
A. divaricarpa
7 Stem leaves without ear-like lobes at the base
8 Basal leaves pinnately lobed with the terminal lobe large and rounded; petals to 8 mm long; pods to 4.5 cm, < 1.5 mm broad; seeds in one row
A. lyrata
8 Basal leaves entire to toothed; petals to 5 mm long; pods to 3 cm long, about 2 mm broad; seeds in two rows
A. arenicola