This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek name for a cress). Cruciferae. Whitlow-Grass. One of the important groups of spring-flowering plants for the alpine garden.
A large and widely scattered genus of tufted hardy annual or perennial herbs, with stellate hairs: leaves often in a rosette, mostly uncut: scapes or stems leafy or not; racemes short or long; flowers without bracts, small, white, yellow, rosy or purple; stamens 6: fruit an oval, orbicular or linear flat pod with several to many marginless seeds in 2 rows in each cell; cotyledons accumbent. - Some 150 species in temperate and arctic regions of the world, many of them in mountains. Many species occur in the lists of alpine gardeners. They are more or less alyssum-like.
Drabas are very pretty dwarf compact alpine plants, with small but numerous flowers admirably adapted for the rockery or front part of a sunny border. They require a sunny position and an open soil. It is important that they be well matured by the autumn sun. The plant forms a dense little rosette of leaves, and has a neat appearance at all times. In spring, drabas are thickly covered with their little flowers and when planted in masses are decidedly effective. Propagation is chiefly by division; also by seed, which may be sown in the fall if desired. (J. B. Keller.) a. Flowers rose or purple.
1. pyrenaica, Linn. Rock Beauty. Height 2-3 in.: leaves wedge-shaped, 3-lobed at apex: flowers white at first, changing to rosy pink. May. Mts., S. Eu. B.M. 713. - Said to be easily prop, by cuttings. This is Petrocallis pyrenaica, R. Br., under which name it will be found again.
2. violacea, DC. stem woody at base, branched: 6-12 in.: leaves obovate-oblong, obtuse, equally woolly on both sides: scapes leafy; petals obovate, dark purple. Andes of Ecuador at elevations of 13,000-15,000 ft. B.M. 5650.
Fig. 1344. Draba Dedeana.
aa. Flowers white (sometimes yellowish in No. 6). b. Plants biennial or annual.
3. cinerea, Adams. stem nearly simple: leaves oblong-linear, stellate pubescent: petals twice longer than calyx: pods oblong, pubescent, shorter than the pedicel. Early spring. Siberia.
bb. Plants perennial. c. Leaves rigid.
4. Mawii, Hook. Forming low, densely tufted, bright green patches: stem much branched, densely clothed with spreading, rosulate leaves: leaves linear-oblong, obtuse, bristly, with a prominent midrib below: scape very short, woolly, 2-4-flowered, very short-pedicelled; petals thrice as large as the sepals, obcordate, white: pods ellipsoid, compressed. Spain. B.M. 6186.
5. gigas, Stur (properly Arabis Carduchbrum, Boiss.). Leaves rosulate and rigid, linear and obtusish, ciliate: scape 1 in. or less, the fruiting raceme short and contracted; flowers white: fruit glabrous, elliptic-linear, the style very short, the valves 1-nerved and keeled. Armenia.
cc. Leaves not rigid.
6. fladnizensis, Wulf. (D. androsacea, Willd. D. Wahlenbergii, Hartm. D. lapponica, Willd.). Plant 2-3 in., much branched at base: leaves rather loosely rosulate, oblong-linear to lanceolate, ciliate, usually somewhat villous or stellate-pubescent, less than 1/2in. long: scape usually glabrous or only slightly villous; flowers sometimes yellowish: pods elliptic-oblong to ovate-lanceolate, not hairy. Arctic regions and Cent. Eu.
aaa. Flowers yellow. b. Leaves rigid, keeled, ciliale.
7. aizoides, Linn. Cespitose, 2-3 in.: leaves linear and acutish: scape glabrous, the raceme elongating in fruit; petals yellow, twice exceeding the calyx; anthers about equaling the petals: fruit oblong-elliptic, glabrous or setulose; style as long as the pod is wide. March. Cent, and S. Eu. - B.M. 170. Variable.
8. Aizdon, Wahl. About 3 in. high: leaves broad-lanceolate, strongly ciliate: scape hairy, with sulfur-yellow flowers, the filaments being paler or greenish. April. Eu. - Diverse in habit.
9. Dedeana, Boiss. & Reut. Fig. 1344. Densely cespitose: scape and pedicels pubescent: leaves oblong-linear, attenuate at base: petals broadly obcordate-cuneate; stamens scarcely longer than calyx: fruit elip-soidal or ovoid. Spain. - In habit like D. azoides; flowers paler yellow.
10. cuspidata, Bieb. Cespitose: leaves linear-acute: scape villous or woolly, the fruiting raceme short; petals yellow, twice exceeding the calyx; anthers equaling the petals: fruit lanceolate and somewhat turgid, setulose. Asia Minor. - Aspect of D. aizoides, but 6cape shorter and pod somewhat inflated.
11. olympica, Sibth. (D. bruniaefblia, Stev.). Densely and broadly cespitose, about 4 in. high: leaves narrowly linear, somewhat keeled: petals deep golden, twice as long as the calyx and stamens: fruit small, turgid-compressed; style very short. June. Greece, Orient. - Runs into many forms.
12. rigida, Willd. (D. bryoides, DC). Powdered: leaves minute, and very short, oblong-linear and keeled, obtusish, the margin more or less ciliate: scape glabrous, bearing a rather long raceme; petals deep golden yellow, much exceeding calyx: fruit elliptic or nearly linear. Caucasus, Armenia.
13. imbricata, Meyer. Very dwarf, much powdered: leaves very small, oblong, obtuse, 3-sided, ciliate, densely imbricate: raceme nearly sessile, glabrous, 3-5-flowered; petals deep golden, twice exceeding the calyx; filaments exceeding calyx: fruit ovate-orbicular, glabrous, nearly plane; style very short. Caucasus. - An excellent little rock alpine.
bb. Leaves not rigid or keeled.
14. hispida, Willd. (D. tridentata, DC). About 3 in. high: leaves obovate, narrowed into a long petiole, obscurely 1-3-toothed at the apex, somewhat bristly: scape not hairy; petals yellow, cuneate, retuse, twice longer than calyx: fruit oblong-linear, not hairy. Russia, Caucasus.
15. alpina, Linn. Densely cespitose, with a much-branched caudex: leaves lanceolate or oblong, obtuse or acute, pubescent: flat: scape more or less hairy: pods oblong to ovate; style very short. April. Greenland, N. Eu., Asia.
16. aurea, Vahl. Doubtfully perennial or biennial, pubescent throughout with stellate hairs, the caudex simple or little branched: leaves oblanceolate to lanceolate, to 2 in., entire or remotely serrate: petals bright yellow to almost white: pods lanceolate to linear, acute, often twisted. New Mex., and Ariz, in mountains and north. B.M. 2934.
D. borealis, DC. Flowers white: stellate-pubescent, more or less cespitose, stem 2-12 in., simple or sparingly branched: leaves ovate to oblong-ovate, flat, 1/2in. or less: style short and stout. Brit. Col. to the high N., Japan. - D. eldta, Hook. f. Flowers yellow: tall biennial, the stem about 1 ft. high from the previous year's rosette of spatulate leaves Himalayas. - D. frigida, Saut. Flowers white: scape about 2-lvd., loosely pubescent: leaves lanceolate or elliptic, stellate-tomentose: fruit oblong, glabrous, the style very short or almost none. Alps. - D. Gilliesii, Hook. & Arn. Flowers white, 3/4in. or less across: tufted perennial, 1-10 in., variable: leaves ovate-oblong, coarsely toothed: flowers few to many in an erect raceme. Chile. B.M. 7913. Gn. 63, p. 243. - D. grandiflora. Hook & Arn. Flowers white, in racemes: plant small and tufted, with tomentose leaves oblong-spatulate. High Andes. Gn. 63, p. 242. Showy; hardy in England. - D. Salamonii, offered abroad, is described as "very close, compact tufts, white flowers" - D. verna, Linn. Whitlow-Grass. A winter annual, widely naturalized from Eu., with white flowers, bifid petals, oblong-obovate to oblanceolate rosulate leaves, slender scapes 2-6 in., and glabrous round-oval to oblong pods.
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