E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Boechera retrofracta Graham
dangling suncress
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Lori Aull  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13930)

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Distribution of Boechera retrofracta
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Species Information

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Biennial or short-lived perennial herb from a simple or branched stem-base; stems 1-several, simple or branched, 0.1-1.0 m tall, hairy basally, usually glabrous above.
Basal leaves in a prominent rosette, oblanceolate, 1-5 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, narrowed to slender stalk, usually densely grey-hairy; stem leaves 1-3 cm long, 2-7 mm wide, unstalked, ear-like at the bases, narrowly oblong to linear, hairy.
Racemes many-flowered, greatly elongated in fruit; petals white to purple, 6-10 mm long; sepals not bulging on one side at the base.
Siliques, drooping or directed downward due to abruptly bent stalks, 3-6 cm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, straight or slightly curved; seeds in 1 row, about 2 mm long, with very narrow wings less than 0.5 mm wide.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry rocky slopes, gravelly areas, shrublands and grasslands in the steppe to alpine zones; var. pinetorum rare in S BC, var. secunda infrequent in C and S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, var. retrofracta common throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains (probably introduced on the coast), var. consanguinea infrequent throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, YT and NT, E to PQ and ON and S to ND, SD, WY, UT, NV and CA; Greenland.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Boechera retrofracta

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 900 900 900
Slope Gradient (%) 20 20 20
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
174 174 174
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 3 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: PP(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Arabis holboellii var. retrofracta (Graham) Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References