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Yellow Whitlowgrass

Draba aizoides

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
8 centimetres tall
Cliffs, gardens, grassland, mountains, rocky places, walls.

Yellow, 4 petals
The inflorescence is a cluster of bright yellow flowers situated at the top of the plant. Individual flowers are cup-shaped and measure 8 or 9mm in size. Unlike other UK species of whitlowgrass, this species has yellow flowers and not white.
The fruit is an elliptical pod.
A hairless perennial, mat-forming flower with dark green, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves have fringed margins wit arrow shaped points. The leaves are stiff with white bristles. The stems are erect and leafless. Found on the Gower peninsula.
Other Names:
Sea-green Whitlowgrass, Whitlow-grass.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Draba aizoides is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, also known as yellow whitlow-grass. It is native to Europe and can be found on rocky alpine slopes and grasslands. It is a slow-growing, mat-forming, semi-evergreen perennial that requires well-drained soil, a rock garden, gravel scree, or alpine trough for success. Its yellow flowers bloom in the spring and can reach a height of 8cm. It is hardy to zone 3 and can withstand temperatures as low as -30°C. It is an important plant in the alpine ecosystem, providing food and shelter to a variety of insects, birds, and other species.


Yellow Whitlowgrass (Draba aizoides) is a flowering plant species that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It is commonly found in the mountains and rocky slopes of Europe, Asia and North Africa. This plant is well-known for its bright yellow flowers that bloom in early spring and can brighten up any landscape with its vibrant colors.

The scientific name Draba aizoides is derived from the Greek word "draba" meaning "a type of mustard plant" and "aizoides" which refers to the yellow flowers that resemble those of the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae).

Yellow Whitlowgrass is a small plant that grows to a height of 10 to 20 cm. It has leaves that are simple, oblong and green in color. The leaves are arranged alternately on the stem and are covered in a fine layer of white hairs. The yellow flowers have four petals and are arranged in clusters at the top of the stem. Each flower is about 1 cm in diameter and has a unique, star-like shape.

This plant is a hardy species and can grow in harsh environments, such as rocky slopes and stony soils. It is also drought-tolerant, making it an ideal plant for dry, sunny areas. Yellow Whitlowgrass is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care and is perfect for those who love to garden but do not have a lot of time or resources to dedicate to it.

In addition to its beauty, Yellow Whitlowgrass is also known for its medicinal properties. The leaves and flowers of this plant have been used for centuries to treat various ailments such as wounds, cuts, and skin irritations. In traditional medicine, a decoction of the plant was used as a treatment for coughs and colds.

Yellow Whitlowgrass is a beautiful and hardy plant that is perfect for gardens and landscapes. Its vibrant yellow flowers and low-maintenance requirements make it a popular choice among gardeners. Its medicinal properties and ability to grow in harsh environments make it a valuable addition to any garden or landscape.

Yellow Whitlowgrass is a great choice for rock gardens, alpine gardens and as ground cover. It can be planted in a variety of soils, but it prefers well-drained soil. The plant can tolerate partial shade but prefers full sun exposure.

The plant reproduces through seeds, which are produced in the late spring and early summer. The seeds can be easily collected and used for propagation. Yellow Whitlowgrass can also be propagated through division or cuttings.

One of the unique features of Yellow Whitlowgrass is its ability to change color in different seasons. During the winter, the leaves and stems turn purplish-brown, which provides an interesting contrast in the garden.

This plant is not only beautiful but also wildlife-friendly. Its yellow flowers attract a variety of pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths. Additionally, its seeds provide food for birds.

In terms of maintenance, Yellow Whitlowgrass does not require regular pruning, but it may benefit from occasional trimming to maintain its shape. If the plant starts to look overgrown or leggy, it can be divided and replanted to rejuvenate it.

Yellow Whitlowgrass is a hardy and versatile plant that can be grown in a range of different conditions. It is an excellent choice for gardeners who are looking for an attractive and low-maintenance plant. With its bright yellow flowers and unique seasonal changes, Yellow Whitlowgrass is sure to bring life and color to any garden or landscape.

Another interesting aspect of Yellow Whitlowgrass is its role in the ecosystem. This plant is a pioneer species, meaning that it is one of the first species to colonize areas where there is little or no vegetation. This makes it an important species for the restoration of degraded or damaged habitats.

In areas where the soil has been disturbed, Yellow Whitlowgrass can help stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. Its deep root system allows it to anchor itself to the soil, reducing the risk of soil loss.

Yellow Whitlowgrass is also a great choice for use in green roofs or green walls. Its hardiness and low-maintenance requirements make it ideal for this type of application. Additionally, its yellow flowers provide a beautiful contrast to the green foliage, making it an attractive addition to any green roof or wall.

Despite its hardiness, Yellow Whitlowgrass is not completely resistant to disease and pests. It can be affected by powdery mildew, which is a fungal disease that affects the leaves and stems of the plant. To prevent this disease, it is important to provide the plant with adequate air circulation and to avoid overcrowding.

In conclusion, Yellow Whitlowgrass is a versatile and attractive plant that is well-suited for a variety of different applications. Its bright yellow flowers, hardiness, and low-maintenance requirements make it a great choice for gardeners and landscapers. Additionally, its role in the ecosystem and its ability to stabilize soil make it an important species for habitat restoration and erosion control.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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