Arabis Stricta Huds. (A. Scabra All.) Bristol Rock-Cress

Stem 3-10 inches, erect, simple, covered with hispid hairs like the leaves. Leaves leathery, shining, dark green and occasionally purplish, ciliated, wavy, with a few rounded teeth; radical leaves in a dense rosette; cauline leaves 1-3, sessile, not auricled. Flowers a dirty white. Sepals as long as the pedicels. Fruiting-spike short, with widely erect pedicels. Siliqua erect, compressed. Seeds truncate and slightly winged at the summit.

Rocks, cliffs, and debris on limestone in the lower Alps and plains. May to July.


East and South of France, Switzerland (Common on the Saleve near Geneve), Jura, Pyrenees, Spain. On carboniferous limestone rocks and screes near Bristol on both sides of the Avon.

Arabis Bellidifolia Jacq

A glabrous and shining plant, or sometimes sparsely covered with simple hairs. Stem 6-20 inches high, erect, simple, leafy. Leaves thick; the root-leaves oblong-spathulate, slightly wavy; the stem-leaves oval or oblong, entire or toothed, half-embracing the stem. Flowers white. Side sepals swollen at the base, shorter than the pedicel. Anthers oblong. Fruiting-spike elongated, with erect pedicels. Siliquas long, numerous, erect, much compressed, seeds broadly winged.

Springs and damp pastures in the high mountains, commonest at about 5000-6000 feet. June to August.


Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Pyrenees, Norway.

Arabis Pumila Wulf

Root tapering, branched, with several crowns; root-crowns often resembling stolons, tufted. Stem erect or ascending, 3-5 inches high, simple, glabrous, or with fine hairs below. Leaves entire or slightly toothed, acute or obtuse, with simple and forked hairs, or only ciliate; root-leaves in a rosette, obovate or wedge-shaped, gradually narrowed below; stem-leaves linear or lanceolate, sessile. Petals white, obovate-lanceolate, patent. Seed-vessel erect, compressed. Seed surrounded by a membranous ring half the width of the seed.

Rocks and stony places in the calcareous Alps up to 8200 feet, often descending to the sub-alpine region. June, July.


Carpathians, Alps, and Apennines.

Arabis Perfoliata L. (Turritis Glabra Lamk)

A biennial, glabrous and glaucous plant 2 to 3 feet high, robust. Stem pubescent at the base. Radical leaves downy, dentate-sinuate, in a rosette which soon withers; stem-leaves entire, glabrous, auricled at the base. Flowers yellowish white. Sepals equalling the pedicels. Fruiting-spike very long, narrow, and crowded. Siliquas long, compressed. Style very short.

Hedges, woods, and pastures. May to July.


Almost all Europe; local in Switzerland and Britain; Western Asia as far as the Himalaya; North America.

Arabis Turrita L. Tower Cress

A tall, stiff, erect biennial, rough and hoary, with short stellate or forked hairs. Radical leaves spreading and stalked; stem-leaves oblong-lanceolate, sessile, and clasping the stem by their rounded auricles, all slightly toothed. Flowers small, dirty yellowish white. Pods 3 inches long, on short erect pedicels, all curved downwards to one side, in a long, dense, nodding raceme.

Rocks and stony woods on limestone mountains. May to July.


Central and Southern Europe including the Jura and Switzerland; Western Asia, Algeria, Australian Alps. Introduced into Britain on walls at Oxford, Cambridge, etc.

Arabis hirsuta, A. muralis Bert., A. auriculata Lamk., A. saxatilis All, and A. arcuata Shuttle., are also occasionally met with in the sub-Alps of Switzerland and Central Europe.