Arabis serotina

Shale Barren Rock-cress

FWS Focus


The shale barren rock cress is a biennial plant in the mustard family. This plant occurs only in West Virginia and Virginia and is found on mid-Appalachian shale barrens of the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachian Mountains. This plant is highly habitat restricted and the number of individuals per population is low, most with fewer then 20 individuals. Because this species is a biennial, it has two age classes containing nonreproductive and reproductive individuals. Young, nonreproductive individuals have leaves in a basal rosette. Potentially reproductive individuals are present in the form of erect, flowering plants lacking a basal rosette. The flowering stem is composed of 3 to 41 branches. The flowers are small with white or creamy petals. Seeds are yellowishbrown and contain a narrow wing. Mature plants reach a height of 16 to 40 inches.

Scientific Name

Arabis serotina
Common Name
shale barren rock-cress
shale barren rockcress
Shale barren rock cress
FWS Category
Flowering Plants

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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