Below freezing temperatures during a period of no snow cover caused one plant to die and several others to develop dead areas on the leaf tips. That bit of adversity hasn’t slowed these plants down any. If our County Fair had a Draba category, I think this plant would be a sure winner.
This cluster of buds alone will produce an amount of seed equal to at least a dozen normal sized plants. Add to that the seed that will come from the flowers developing at the ends of the many branches and this plant will produce as much seed as 40 or 50 normal plants. The total amount of seed from this one plant may exceed the total of all the plants growing in one of the barrens openings found at Blue Jay Barrens.
I would expect this plant to produce two or three flower stalks.
You won’t find any super sized Drabas growing out here.
It is just slightly smaller than the average pot grown specimen and will produce one or two flower stalks. Fortunately, each flower produces an abundance of almost dust sized seed, so chances are good that some seed will survive to produce plants next year.
Leavenworthia produces no elongated stem. The leaves radiate out from a central base in the same manner as the common dandelion. Several pairs of short, pointed leaflets line the leaf stalk which terminates in a flat, roughly five lobed leaflet.
Each stalk will bear a single flower which produces about a dozen seeds. A plant of this size will produce ten or more flowers.
This plant was so small that the leaf stalk never got long enough to produce leaflets. This small leaf cluster is capable of supporting only one or two flowers. A single flower stalk is seen here, but it is early enough for the plant to produce a second if conditions remain favorable. Annuals have only one chance to produce seed, so every bit of the plant’s energy goes into the effort.
It could easily take 40 of these plants to equal the leaf area of one average sized Draba cuneifolia. Most of those rocks seen in the photo are actually sand sized.
One reason for this may be the fact that I have a tough time actually spotting any plants smaller than this. If I crawled around with a magnifying lens, I may find some of those extra tiny plants. There’s no question that a lot can be learned about a plant by growing it in a container, but you can’t always apply that knowledge to field situations.