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

Draba oligosperma Hook.
few-seeded draba (fewseed draba; few-seeded whitlow-grass)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #594)

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Distribution of Draba oligosperma
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Species Information

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Densely tufted perennial herb from a taproot; stems, branched, 1-10 cm tall, glabrous or starlike-hairy near base.
All basal, narrowly oblanceolate to oblong, 3-12 mm long, 0.7-1.7 mm wide, hairy with 4-rayed, starlike hairs with the rays branched, margins hairy with starlike hairs, starlike hairs on lower leaf surfaces unstalked with mostly 9 or more rays, slightly V-shaped in cross section, midribs prominent and often persistent; stem leaves lacking.
Racemes 3- to 15-flowered; flower stalks 2-10 mm long, ascending, glabrous; petals yellow, 3-5 mm long; sepals 2-2.5 mm long, sparsely soft-hairy.
Silicles, 3-8 mm long, 2-4 mm wide, egg-shaped to lanceolate or oval, plane, glabrous or hairy; styles 0.2-1 mm long; seeds 2-10, 1.4-1.8 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky slopes, cliffs, meadows, fellfields and scree slopes in the steppe to alpine zones; infrequent in S BC, rare northward; N to AK, YT and NT, E to SW AB and S to WY, CO, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Draba oligosperma

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 1961 2565
Slope Gradient (%) 3 30 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
27 246 340
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: AT(13), BAFA(7), ESSF(11), IMA(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 juniperina Dorn
Draba oligosperma subsp. subsessilis (S. Watson) A.E. Murray
Draba oligosperma var. juniperina (Dorn) S.L. Welsh
Draba oligosperma var. oligosperma
Draba oligosperma var. pectinipila (Rollins) C.L. Hitchc.
Draba oligosperma var. subsessilis (S. Watson) O.E. Schulz
Draba pectinipila Rollins
Draba subsessilis S. Watson

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References