Annuals; scapose or subscapose. Stems (simple to many from or near base), unbranched, (0.2-) 0.3-2.7(-3.7) dm, hirsute or pubescent throughout, trichomes 3-4-rayed, 0.05-0.4 mm, (sometimes mixed proximally with simple or spurred ones, 0.5-1.2 mm). Basal leaves not rosulate; petiole (obscure), not ciliate; blade oblanceolate to spatulate or broadly obovate, (0.4-)1-3.5(-5) cm × (2-)6-20(-28) mm, margins dentate (in distal 1/2), surfaces pubescent, abaxially with stalked, 2-4-rayed trichomes, 0.1-0.7 mm, adaxially similar or also with fewer, simple trichomes, 0.4-0.7 mm. Cauline leaves 0-6 (on proximal 1/3 of stem); blade similar to basal. Racemes 10-50(-70)-flowered (throughout or on distal 1/3 of scape), ebracteate, elongated in fruit; rachis not flexuous, densely pubescent, trichomes 2-4-rayed. Fruiting pedicels horizontal to divaricate-ascending, straight, (1-)2-7(-10) mm, pubescent as rachis. Flowers: (late ones cleistogamous, apetalous); sepals (green or pink), oblong, 1.5-2.5 mm, glabrous or pubescent, (trichomes simple); petals white, spatulate, (2-)2.5-4.5(-5) × 1-2 mm, (emarginate or obtuse); anthers ovate to oblong, (0.1-)0.25-0.4 mm. Fruits oblong to linear or lanceolate to broadly ovate, plane, flattened, (3-) 6-12(-16) × 1.7-2.7(-3) mm; valves usually puberulent, rarely glabrous, trichomes simple, antrorse, 0.1-0.3 mm, (rarely with 2-rayed ones, or all trichomes short-stalked, 4-rayed, cruciform); ovules (12-)24-66 (-72) per ovary; style 0.01-0.3(-0.4) mm. Seeds broadly ovoid, 0.5-0.7 × 0.4-0.5 mm. 2n = 30, 32.
Annual or winter-annual, 1-2.5 dm, simple or branched at the base; basal lvs oblanceolate to narrowly obovate, 1-3 cm, coarsely dentate, rough-hairy; cauline lvs few and only near the base; pet white, to 4 mm, or none; mature racemes 5-10 cm, the axis and divaricate pedicels pubescent; pedicels half as long to equaling the fr; frs widely spreading, narrowly elliptic, 6-11 mm, blunt, minutely strigulose; 2n=32. Dry woods and barrens; Ill., Ky., and Mo., w. and s. to Calif. and n. Mex.; Fla. May.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual herb, 1-25 cm tall, from a slender taproot; stems simple or branched at the base, pubescent at least near the base with simple and/or forked hairs. Leaves: Crowded at or near the base; basal leaves orbicular to ovate or obovate, 0.5-5 cm long, 2-27 mm wide, entire or often with a few teeth near the tips, pubescent with 2-4 forked hairs and sometimes simple ones as well; stem leaves few to several, similar to the basal leaves but usually much reduced. Flowers: White and inconspicuous, in terminal racemes on long stalks, the racemes crowded in flower but elongating in fruit; pedicels spreading to ascending, 1-10 mm long, with branched hairs; sepals 4, pubescent, 2 mm long; petals 4 in a cross formation, white, 3-5 mm long. Fruits: Capsules oblong to linear, strongly laterally compressed, 4-15 mm long and 2-4 mm wide, hairy or glabrous; seeds less than 1 mm long, 20 or more per capsule. Ecology: Found in sandy soil or rocky slopes, from 1,000-7,000 ft (305-2135 m); flowers February-May. Distribution: Much of the s half of the US, from CA east to PA; south to c MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being a diminutive annual covered in stellate (branched) hairs (use your hand lens), with leaves in a basal rosette; several nearly leafless flower stalks, usually only a few inches long, rising out of the cluster of leaves; clusters of small, 4-petaled white flowers at the tops of the flowering stalks with fruits spreading off below; fruits are usually hairy, plump and slightly elongated, flattened and curved upwards. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Draba is from the Greek drabe for sharp or acrid, probably referring to the taste of the leaves; cuneifolia means leaves tapered at the base. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2017