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

Cochlearia groenlandica L.
scurvy-grass (Danish scurvygrass; spoonwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jocie Ingram  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #281)

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Distribution of Cochlearia groenlandica
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Species Information

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Biennial or perennial herb from a short, stout taproot; stems spreading to erect, (5) 10-30 (35) cm tall; glabrous.
Basal leaves in a rosette, stalks slender and several times longer than the blade, the blades (5) 10-20 mm long, kidney-shaped to heart-shaped or egg-shaped, entire to wavy-margined; stem leaves usually with larger blades, unstalked or broadly short-stalked, generally toothed.
Racemes elongate; flower stalks ascending, 5-15 mm long; petals white, 3-5 mm long; sepals pale yellow-green, about 2 mm long.
Silicles, oval to elliptic, (3) 4-7 mm long; styles 0.2-0.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist sandy seashores, tidal marshes and mudflats in the lowland zone; frequent in coastal BC; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT and S to WA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cochlearia groenlandica

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) 1 257 1020
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 2
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
326 325 326
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 6
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: CWH(4), SBS(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

Cochlearia officinalis
Cochlearia officinalis subsp. arctica (Schltdl.) Hultén
Cochlearia officinalis subsp. groenlandica (L.) A.E. Porsild
Cochlearia officinalis subsp. oblongifolia (DC.) Hultén
Cochlearia officinalis var. arctica (Schltdl.) Gelert
Cochleariopsis groenlandica (L.) A. Löve & D. Löve
Cochleariopsis groenlandica subsp. arctica (Schltdl.) A. Löve & D. Löve
Cochleariopsis groenlandica subsp. oblongifolia (DC.) A. Löve & D. Löve

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References