Turritis glabra

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  • Latin Name: Turritis glabra
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Common Names: towermustard, tower rockcress
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Arabis glabra
  • Codon: TURGLA

Arabis glabra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Arabis
Species: A. glabra

Turritis glabra

Plant Description

Biennial or short-lived perennial from growing from a simple crown, the stem usually single, simple or branched above, 3-15 dm. tall, The plant is pubescent with stiff, simple hairs at the base, becoming glabrous above. Leaves are mainly cauline: the basal ones oblanceolate, 3-14 cm. long, usually remotely toothed, the blade narrowed to a short, winged, greenish petiole. Leaves are pubescent with a mixture of simple and stellate hairs. The Inflorescence is a many-flowered raceme with slender pedicles. Flowers feature 4 sepals, with 4 cream colored petals. Fruits are glabrous, 1-nerved siliques, 6-10 cm. long and 1-1.5 mm. broad.

Bloom Period

March to May or May to July.


British Columbia to northern California, east to the Rocky Mountain states.


Moist soil in open woods and clearings.


First Nations

Drunk as an infusion to prevent colds and general sickness when signs first appear.


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

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

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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