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

Draba densifolia Nutt.
Nuttall's draba (denseleaf draba; Nuttall's whitlow-grass)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Natasha Gellatly  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #38399)

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

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Tufted perennial herb from a taproot and a usually branched stem-base; stems erect, 0.5-15 cm tall, glabrous to hairy with simple and branched hairs.
All basal, linear to linear-oblanceolate, 0.2-1.2 (1.9) cm long, 0.5-3 mm wide, upper surface usually glabrous, lower leaf surfaces mainly with simple to 3-branched hairs, margins hairy-fringed with stiff simple hairs, 0.5-1 mm long; stem leaves lacking.
Racemes 3- to 15-flowered; flower stalks 2-5 mm long, hairy; petals yellow, 2-6 mm long; sepals 2-2.5 mm long, soft-hairy.
Silicles, 2-7 mm long, 2-3.5 mm wide, egg-shaped to elliptic, plane; hairy or glabrous; styles 0.5-1 mm long; seeds 2-12, about 2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry forest openings, meadows, rocky slopes and cliffs from the upper montane to alpine zones; rare in SC, WC and SE BC; E to SW AB, S to WY, VT and CA, disjunct in AK.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Draba densifolia

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) 990 2096 2659
Slope Gradient (%) 1 31 55
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 206 272
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 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: AT(2), ESSF(5), IDF(1), IMA(1), MS(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

Draba caeruleomontana Payson & H. St. John
Draba nelsonii J.F. Macbr. & Payson
Draba sphaerula J.F. Macbr. & Payson

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References