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

Draba nivalis Lilj.
snow draba (snow whitlow-grass; yellow arctic draba)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25816)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Draba nivalis
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Species Information

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Tufted perennial herb from a taproot; stems branched, 3-12 (20) cm tall, starlike-hairy.
Usually all basal, oblong-egg-shaped, 0.5-1.5 cm long, 1-4 mm wide, greyish-hairy with overlapping starlike hairs, margins with all starlike hairs or with only simple hairs near base, midribs prominent and persistent; stem leaves absent or sometimes 1.
Racemes 3- to 12-flowered; flower stalks 1-6 (11) mm long, ascending to erect, grey-hairy with starlike hairs; petals white, 2.5-4 mm long; sepals 1.5-2 mm long, glabrous or hairy.
Silicles, 5-12 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, lance-linear to oblong or lance-oblong, plane to contorted, glabrous; styles 0.2-0.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadows, rocky slopes and scree slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; infrequent throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT and E to NF.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Draba nivalis

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) 5 1419 1990
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 277 337
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 4
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: BAFA(20), ESSF(4)


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

Draba nivalis var. thompsonii C.L. Hitchc.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References