Draba aurea Vahl ex Hornem.
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Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Draba
Species Synonyms: Draba aurea var. leiocarpa (Payson & St. John) C.L. Hitchc.
Draba aurea var. neomexicana (Greene) Tidestrom
Draba minganensis (Victorin) Fern.
Draba neomexicana Greene
Common Names: golden draba
drave dorée
golden whitlowgrass
golden whitlow-grass
Canada: Yukon Territory - Mackenzie District - northeastern Manitoba - Ungava - Labrador, south to British Columbia - southwestern Alberta, western Ontario
Saskatchewan: northern Saskatchewan; Lake Athabasca
Ecoregion: Tazin Lake Upland
Canada: dry, gravely, or forested slopes and alpine meadows
Provincial Status According
to Harms (2003):
Nature Conservancy Status:
G5 S2
Saskatchewan Species at
Risk Status:
Golden draba is endangered in Saskatchewan because it is extremely rare and almost always locally sparse. In addition, it is only found in one location in Saskatchewan. This species is likely commonly overlooked.
Height: 15 – 50 cm
Roots: taproot
Stems: stem base woody, simple or branched; perennial, solitary to several, erect to reclining, purplish, mixed hairs with simple, bifid, cross-shaped and star-shaped hairs
Leaves: basal and on the stem; basal rosette, short stalked, 0.4 - 3 cm long, 2 – 8 mm wide, spoon-shaped, hairs star-shaped or forked, entire to slightly toothed; stem leaves 3 – 30, alternate, sessile to clasping, 4 – 20 mm long, 2 – 4 mm wide, reduced upwards, oblong to ovate, hairs star-shaped or forked, margin entire to slightly toothed
Inflorescence: unbranched, terminal and in leaf axils; flowers numerous, crowded
Flowers: sepals 2 – 3 mm long, long hairy or with star-shaped hairs; petals 4.6 – 6 mm long, cross-shaped, yellow; ovary hairy; stigma head-like; style 0.3 – 1.5 mm long
Fruits: pod ascending to erect, 7 – 20 mm long, 2 – 4 mm wide, lance-shaped to narrowly oblong, often twisted, hairs simple and forked or star-shaped; stalks shorter than pod
1 Flowers yellow; stems very leafy or stalks 2 – 4 times as long as pod
1 Flowers white; stems with less than 10 leaves and stalks various
2 Stem leaves usually more than 10; stalks shorter than pod
D. aurea
2 Stem leaves 1 – 5; stalks 2 – 4 times as long as pod
D. nemorosa
3 Stem leaves all or mostly opposite; inflorescence umbrella-like in fruit
D. reptans
3 Stem leaves alternate; inflorescence elongate in fruit
4 Woody stem base absent; stem leaves on lower 1/3 of plant; stalks 2 – 4 times as long as pod
D. nemorosa
4 Woody stem base present; stem leaves usually at least 1/2 way up stem; stalks rarely 2 times as long as pod
5 Stem leaves less than 5; fruiting stalks spreading-ascending; mature siliques broadly lance-shaped, not twisted, with thick coat of minute hairs; seeds at most 36
D. cinerea var. cinerea
5 Stem leaves usually 5 – 8; fruiting stalks strongly ascending; mature siliques narrowly lance-shaped, twisted, with star-shaped hairs; seeds at most 20 – 48
D. breweri var. cana