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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


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E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Boechera sparsiflora
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Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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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)
741 440 975
Slope Gradient (%)
47 8 66

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

314 60 355
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 2 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Arabis campyloloba Greene
Arabis peramoena Greene
Arabis polytricha Greene
Arabis sparsiflora Nutt.