Turritis glabra

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Scientific Name: Turritis glabra
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Common Names: towermustard, tower rockcress
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Arabis glabra
  • Codon: TURGLA

Photo by Robert L. Carr, also featured on Main Page


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Viridiplantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Spermatophytina
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Turritis L.
Species: Turritis glabra L.
  • Arabis glabra



Biennial or short-lived native perennial, stem usually single with stiff hairs below and glabrous above, sometimes branched above.

Basal leaves oblanceolate, overlapping, with winged petiole, cauline leaves also strongly overlapping, lanceolate.

Inflorescence is a many-flowered raceme, bearing non-gibbous cream-colored flowers.

Fruits are siliques, appressed to axis of rachis.[2][3]

Bloom Period

May to July.[2]


British Columbia to northern California, east to the Rocky Mountain states, also grows in Eurasia and Africa.[4]


Stream banks to open woodlands, mostly in clearings where often weedy.[4]


First Nations

Documentation of Notameohmésêhese or Heévâhetaneo'o use as a general preventative medicine and a cold medicine.[5]


Larval host plant for Large Marble butterfly (Euchloe ausonides). [6]


Turritis glabra, photo by Lisa Hintz
Turritis glabra, photo by Lisa Hintz

Seed sample from: 2011

Average Measurement: 1.3 x 1 x 0.2

Measurement Range: L: 1 - 1.5, W: 0.9 - 1.1, D: 0.1 - 0.3


Shape: Seed narrowly winged with accumbent cotyledons, making the position of the radicle apparent.

Color: Seed wings transparent. Seed brown, darkening towards the hilum.

Surface: Seed coat bumpy and shiny.

Latitudinal Cross Section: elliptical ARGL-lat-crosssection.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: elliptical ARGL-long-crosssection.png

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.

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  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=522994#null
  2. 2.0 2.1 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from https://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection/taxon.php?Taxon=Turritis%20glabra
  3. Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:2020-05-09]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  5. Native American Ethnobotany Database. Retrieved from http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=arabis+glabra
  6. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. (2012, October 3). Arabis Glabra. Plant Database. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARGL.