Milky draba – Draba lactea

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Alaska Wildflowers | White

The white-flowering milky draba (draba lactea) in the interior of Alaska

Milky draba

Draba lactea

Common Names

milky draba
milky whitlow-grass

Synonyms

Draba pseudopilosa
Draba allenii
Draba fladnizensis var. heterotricha


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Subspecies

none

Genus: Draba
Family: Brassicaceae
Order: Brassicales
full classification


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Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – Forb/herb

Identification and Information

Milky draba (Draba lactea), also known as milky whitlow grass is a small, white-flowering perennial herb that grows from a taproot and branched caudex. Each plant has multiple unbranched stems, 2-15 (0.75-6 inches) cm tall. The stems are usually glabrous (free from hair or wool). The majority of leaves are basal, growing in a basal rosette that can be alternate or whorled. The leaves are oblanceolate to obovate, usually entire, and often pubescent with sparse white or translucent hairs. The stems may lack leaves entirely, or have one to a few.

The inflorescence is a raceme of 2-12 (typically 2-8) flowers. The flowers are attached to the flowering stem via glabrous pedicels, 2-5mm in length. Each flower has four 1-1.2 mm long and 2.5-3 mm wide sepals and four 3-5 mm long white petals. Flowers have 5 stamens with yellow anthers and a stout style with a single stigma. The flowers are usually glabrous or very sparsely hairy. The fruit is an oblong to elliptic-lanceolate, flattened 8-9 mm long pod.



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Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No uses found.

Distribution and Habitat

Milky draba has a mostly circumpolar distribution and is found in Alaska, northern Canada, and British Columbia, Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia, and Siberia. It is considered critically imperiled in Manitoba, Ontario, and Newfoundland.

It lives in a variety of rocky and wet soils and can be found on hillsides or ridges, alpine tundra, talus, rocky meadows, wet meadows, lake and pond margins, near streams.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
   SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
      InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
         SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
            DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
               SubdivisionSpermatophytina ( spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
                  ClassMagnoliopsida 
                     SuperorderRosanae 
                        OrderBrassicales 
                           FamilyBrassicaceae (mustards, moutardes, crucifers)
                              GenusDraba L. (draves, whitlowgrass)
                                 SpeciesDraba lactea Adams (milky draba)

References and Further Reading

Classification and Taxonomy

D. lactea Adams Taxonomic Serial No.: 22888, ITIS Database

D. lactea M.F. Adams, USDA Database

Map and Distribution

D. lactea Adams Published in: Adams, J.M.F. Mém. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 5: 104. (1817)., GBIF Database

D. lactea Milky Whitlow-grass, NatureServe Explorer

Description and Information

D. lactea Adams, Mém. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou. 5: 104. 1817., Flora of North America

D. lactea Adams, Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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