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Arabis glabra

Arabis glabra (L.) Bernh.

Arabis glabra (L.) Bernh. var. furcatipilis M. Hopkins

Arabis glabra (L.) Bernh. var. glabra

Turritis glabra L.

Tower Mustard

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderBrassicalesMustard, cabbage, caper, papaya, nasturtiums, many others; most produce mustard oil
FamilyBrassicaceaeMustards, cabbages
GenusArabisGreek for “mustard” or “cress”
Speciesglabra“Smooth or hairless”

About plant names...

The aptly named tower mustard is a widespread North American native plant.

Identification: I first noticed these in the late summer—tall, rigid clusters of dead sticks, lacking flowers or seeds or leaves. The “sticks” are actually seedpods. Tower mustard begins with a rosette of gray leaves, and in the second year, it produces a flowering stalk up to about 3½' (1 m) high. A few nondescript leaves alternate along the stalk, which may branch at the top into slender shoots. Small, four-petaled, cream-colored flowers, each about ¼" (6.3 mm) in size, cover some of the shoots. The shoots are siliques, narrow, rounded seedpods that look more like stems than seedpods.

Online References:

Arabis glabra at Illinois Wildflowers

Arabis glabra on Calflora

Arabis glabra on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Arabis glabra on CalPhotos

Arabis glabra on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Arabis glabra on the University of Massachusetts Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry Program

Arabis glabra at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard)

5/25/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm)

Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard)

8/4/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 21 × 32" (53 × 80 cm)

Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm)

Arabis glabra description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 29 Oct 2013.

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Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard)

7/11/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near NH Line, Dunstable, MA
≈ 26 × 37" (67 × 93 cm)

Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard)

5/25/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 9 × 20" (23 × 51 cm)

Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard)

8/6/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm)

Arabis glabra (Tower Mustard)

7/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.2 × 13 cm)

Range:

About this map...