Plant Image
Flower head

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Arabis glabra - tower rockcress

Synonyms: Turritis glabra, Arabis glabra var. furcatipilis, Arabis glabra var. glabra, Arabis perfoliata
Other Common Names: tower mustard
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Brassicaceae

line decor
  Home   Plant Communities Plant List Search Forbs Search Grasses Search Woody Plants Additional Resources About this Website
line decor

Click on Any Image for a Larger View

Max Licher @
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Biennial   Similar Species: Arabis hirsuta
General Desc: This is a tall, slim, gray-green plant with small creamy flowers at the top of each stem. Arabis glabra is a larval host and/or nectar source for the Large Marble butterfly (Euchloe ausonides).
Identification notes: Fruits are a silique (cylindrical pod); they are erect, numerous, smooth and cylindrical in shape. Petals are yellowish-white, rarely purplish. The hairs on the leaves are forked.
Height: 1 to 3 feet


Habitat Description: Habitats include various kinds of prairies, all soil types including limestone, rocky open woodlands, barren savannas, rocky bluffs, roadsides, abandoned fields, forest margins, stream banks and mountain slopes.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 9000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White to cream, rarely purplish     Shape: Regular in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - May
Description: The flower at the apex of each raceme is up to 1/6 inch across, consisting of 4 white or cream petals, 4 light green or yellow sepals, a stout style, and several stamens. One or more flowering stalks up to 3 feet tall appear in the second year.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green to gray-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Basal rosette leaves are 3-1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch across, oblong and often slightly pinnatifid; upper surface is often hairy. The stem leaves are narrower with bases that extend beyond their stem attachment, looking like a stretched arrowhead.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green to brownish-green   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Each flower is replaced by a slender cylindrical pod up to 2-1/2 inches long. The pods are held upright close to the stalk of the raceme. Each pod contains 1 or 2 rows of slightly flattened ovoid seeds.
Seed Notes: Small seeds have narrowly winged margins and are dispersed by the wind.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
Legal Disclaimer