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Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri.  Synonyms: Boechera holboellii var. fendleri, Arabis fendleri. (Fendler's Rockcress)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring.
Hawkins Preserve, April 8, 2016.

Boechera species are difficult to tell apart and most floras give conflicting names to and details about these species. Click to read about the genus.

Boechera fendleri has several characteristics that help separate it from other members of the genus:

The lower part of the stem is hairy; the middle and upper stem is glabrous.

Basal leaves are ciliate and surfaces can be quite hairy (see below) but may be glabrous. Basal leaves are commonly dentate.

Upper stem leaves are glabrous but often ciliate margined near their tip.

Flowers are small, sometimes white (usually lavender), upright, and their calyces are sparsely hairy.

Fruits are upright when floral parts are still attached (upper right corner of second photograph at left), but droop to horizontal and often droop even more to a declining position.

Stem leaves are clasping and often auriculate, i.e., they have ear-like lobes which droop to the side of the stem. (See the photographs below).

Sereno Watson named this species Arabis holboellii var. fendleri in 1895 from a specimen collected by Augustus Fendler near Santa Fe in 1847. William Weber renamed the species Boechera fendleri in 1982 and that name is now widely accepted.

Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri.  Synonyms: Boechera holboellii var. fendleri, Arabis fendleri. (Fendler's Rockcress)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring.
Hawkins Preserve, April 8, 2016.

Basal rosettes are perched on a small caudex and thus the plant shakes from side to side in a breeze.

A look at the leaves with a hand lens or a close-up camera shows the myriad of hairs typical of this species. Notice that the shape and length of the hairs is best seen along the edges of the leaves.

Basal leaves are dentate, i.e., they have small, tooth-like projections.

Boechera fendleri  Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri.  Synonyms: Boechera holboellii var. fendleri, Arabis fendleri. (Fendler's Rockcress)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring.
Hawkins Preserve, April 8, 2016.

It takes a close look to see the ear-like leaf lobes that clasp the stem.

The leaves often are vertical and pressed completely or partially against the stems.

Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri

Boechera fendleri.  Synonyms: Boechera holboellii var. fendleri, Arabis fendleri. (Fendler's Rockcress)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring.
Hawkins Preserve, April 8, 2016.

The very lowest part of the stem is hairy.

Basal rosette leaves are hairy and dentate.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Boechera fendleri

Range map for Boechera fendleri