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

Boechera sparsiflora (Nutt.) Dorn
stretching suncress
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Boechera sparsiflora
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Species Information

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Biennial or short-lived perennial herb from a simple or branched stem-base; stems 1-several, simple or branched, 0.3-1.0 m tall, glabrous above, more or less hairy toward base.
Basal leaves numerous in a rosette, oblanceolate, entire, 2-3 cm long, 1.5-2.5 mm wide, gradually narrowed to a slender, fringed stalk; stem leaves unstalked, ear-like at the bases, lanceolate, entire or remotely toothed, 1.5-2.0 cm long, 2-3 mm wide, glabrous to sparsely hairy.
Racemes many-flowered, symmetric; petals 6-10 mm long, white to purple; sepals slightly bulging on one side at the base.
Siliques, directed at right angles from the axis of the inflorescence or slightly upward, but the siliques curved downward, 5-7 cm long, 2 mm wide; seeds 1.5-2 mm long, with very narrow wings.
Mulligan (1995) separates A. columbiana from A. sparsiflora based on stem and base leaves with either 2- and 3-branched hairs on the latter or 3- and 4-branched hairs on the former; a rather minor difference.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry grasslands, gravelly river banks and disturbed areas in the steppe and lower montane zones; rare in SC BC, known recently only from Princeton; S to UT, ID and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Boechera sparsiflora

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) 440 741 975
Slope Gradient (%) 8 47 66
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
60 314 355
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 3 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: IDF(3), PP(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

Arabis campyloloba Greene
Arabis peramoena Greene
Arabis polytricha Greene
Arabis sparsiflora Nutt.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References