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Wedgeleaf (Whitlowgrass)

Draba cuneifolia

Draba cuneifolia var. cuneifolia

Family: Brassicaceae (A Utah Flora – Cruciferae) – Mustard Family

Annual herbs from a taproot; 3.9” to 8” (1 to 20 cm) tall

Leaves: alternate, or basal and still alternate; simple; entire to toothed; has hairs; basal leaves 0.2” to 1.6” (0.5 to 4 cm) long, 0.08” to 1.08” (2 to 27 mm) wide

Flowers: 4 white petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; petals 0.12” to 0.2” (3 to 5 mm) long; 4 sepals; usually 6 stamens (with 2 outer shorter than the inner 4), sometimes 2 or 4; 1 pistil; nectar glands commonly 4

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically butterflies, moths, bees and flies); some self-fertile

Fruits: silique - a pod with 2 compartments with a thin partition

Blooms in Arches National Park: February, March, April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: Windows, Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Fiery Furnace

Other: The genus name, “Draba”, is from the Greek word “drabe” which means "sharp or acrid" referring to the burning taste of the leaves which supposedly had a medicinal value as a poultice. The species name, “cuneifolia”, means “wedge-shaped leaf”.

Many plants in this family are weeds and they flower early because they are annual. Many vegetables are in this family– radish, cabbage, cauliflower. A few species of plants in this family are poisonous to livestock.

Did You Know?

Graffiti-free Zone

Even though graffiti is prohibited by law, rangers and volunteer groups spend hundreds of hours every year removing it in Arches. Please join us in protecting the park by not leaving your mark. If you discover graffiti in the park, please let us know. Otherwise, make memories, take pictures, but leave no visible trace of your visit. More...