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

Draba verna L.
common draba (common whitlow-grass; spring draba)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23105)

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Distribution of Draba verna
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems leafless, 5-20 (25) cm tall, glabrous or hairy with simple and branched hairs near base.
Basal leaves in a rosette, spoon-shaped to oblanceolate, entire to toothed, 1-2.5 cm long, hairs simple, branched or starlike; stem leaves lacking.
Racemes 3- to 20-flowered; petals white, 3-4 mm long, deeply bilobed.
Silicles 3-10 mm long, 1.5-4 mm wide, elliptic to egg-shaped, glabrous; fruiting stalks 2-4 times as long as the silicles; style about 0.1 mm long; seeds 30-60, 0.3-0.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry disturbed areas and waste areas in the lowland, montane and steppe zones; locally frequent in SW BC, known from SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the adjacent lower mainland, frequent in WC and SC BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Draba verna

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) 350 717 1737
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 73
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 180 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 5
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: BG(33), IDF(14), PP(20)


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 praecox Stev.
Draba verna var. aestivalis Lej.
Draba verna var. boerhaavii H.C. Hall
Draba verna var. major Stur
Erophila spathulata A.F. Lang
Erophila verna (L.) Besser
Erophila verna subsp. praecox (Stev.) S.M. Walters
Erophila verna subsp. spathulata (A.F. Lang) S.M. Walters

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References