Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Braun's Rockcress
Arabis perstellata
Family: Brassicaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  T
USFWS Status: LE

Global Rank: G2
State Rank: S2

Rocky, wooded slopes on blackish clay loams over limestone or acid limestone cobble.

Species Description:
Perennial herb.

Flowering Period: Early April to late May.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
A decumbent, spreading perennial herb with round, fuzzy-grayish-green stems that grow 1-8 dm long arising horizontally from a basal rosette of leaves. Both sides of the alternate leaves, and the stems, are densely covered with fine, white, matted hairs, giving the plant a grayish appearance. Produces white to lavender cross-shaped flowers in late March-early May. The fruits are long pods (siliques), containing reddish- brown, flattened seeds about 1mm long.

Disturbance of surrounding slopes by activities such as roads, ATV trails, timber removal or any activity that results in changes to the surface hydrology or increased erosion will be detrimental. Perhaps the greatest threat to this rare species are invasive plants, particularly garlic mustard. A wooded buffer at the top of the slope where Braun's rockcress occurs is generally beneficial in reducing weed/pest invasion, erosion/hydrologic impacts and other changes that may alter the conditions in these forests.

Global Range:
Tennessee (2 current records are from Rutherford County, with historical and extirpated records from Davidson County; all are in the Central Basin), Kentucky, and Alabama (questionable identification). Known range is from Kentucky sites along the Kentucky river system to northcentral Tennessee. Records under the name Arabis perstellata for Michigan, Virginia, and West Virgina are instead for Arabis shortii (sometimes treated as Arabis perstellata var. shortii), not A. perstellata as treated here.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

Note: To print pages from this site change Page Setup to Landscape
Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
Copyright © 2003-2013 Commonwealth of Kentucky. All rights reserved.