Draba fladnizensis var. heterotricha
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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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.
|Rank||Scientific Name (Common Name)|
|Kingdom||Plantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)|
|Subkingdom||Viridiplantae (green plants)|
|Infrakingdom||Streptophyta (land plants)|
|Division||Tracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)|
|Subdivision||Spermatophytina ( spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)|
|Family||Brassicaceae (mustards, moutardes, crucifers)|
|Genus||Draba L. (draves, whitlowgrass)|
|Species||Draba 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 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