Arabis laevigata
(Smooth Rockcress)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Smooth Rockcress
    Synonyms: Boechera laevigata, Borodinia laevigata
      Lifespan: Biennial
      Zones: N/A
      Type: Forb
      Bloom Time: April - June
      Status: Native

    Arabis laevigata, or Smooth Rockcress, is native to most of the eastern United States, except Texas, Florida or Louisiana. It is an annual, or biennial, that grows in open woods, as well as cliffs, ravines and slopes. It blooms late in the season, usually in late summer and early fall, with medium-sized pink flowers. The plant usually forms a "basal rosette" - a small group of leaves in a circle with no stem - in the first year and then blooms the second year.

    This plant looks very similar to other members in the mustard family. There have been a number of reclassifications, resulting in confusing names and synonyms. The genuses of Arabis, Boechera, Borodinia and Turritis are the most similar species. The following guide can help with the most similar species to Arabis laevigata:
    Arabis glabra: is biennial; has waxy stem; leaves are alternate and clasp around the stem; seed pods stand upright; is often over 3 feet tall; has almost aqua colored leaves; leaves are hairless and smooth
    Arabis laevigata: is biennial; has waxy stem; leaves are alternate and clasp around the stem; seed pods droop downward; is about 18 to 24 inches tall; leaves are hairless and smooth; petals are small and barely reach past the sepals
    Boechera canadensis: has hairy stems and leaves; seed pods dropp down from the stem
    Boechera dentata: has hairy stems and leaves; seed pods go upwards
    Boechera missouriensis: has very toothed leaves on the lower stem leaves
    Boechera stricta: upper part of plant smooth with waxy covering; leaves have lobes on the bottom and do not clasp stem; fruit stands up, and usually close to the stem

    More information on other species will be posted later on telling them apart. This is a difficult set of species to tell apart.

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