tower mustard

(Turritis glabra)

Conservation Status
tower mustard
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N3N5 - Vulnerable to Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Tower mustard is a 12 to 60 tall, erect, biennial or short-lived perennial forb that rises on one or more stems from a stout taproot.

In the first year the plant produces a rosette of basal leaves. These leaves are green or grayish green, up to 1½ long, ¾ wide, and inversely lance-shaped, with the attachment at the narrow end. The margins have outward-pointing teeth and shallow lobes. The upper surface is hairy, becoming less hairy with age.

One or more stems are produced in the second year. They are erect, usually unbranched, sometimes forked, leafy, and hairy near the base; hairless, light green and covered with a whitish, waxy coating (glaucous) above.

Stem leaves are alternate, overlapping near the base, less so above. They are up to 3 long and 1 wide, grayish-green, lance-shaped, hairless, and glaucous. A pair of lobes at the base of the leaf blade clasps the stem. Middle and upper stem leaves are untoothed. Lower stem leaves are toothed, slightly lobed, and commonly have Y-shaped hairs.

The inflorescence is an tight, short cluster at the end of the stem.

The flowers are ¼ to ½ wide. The 4 petals are white.

The fruit is an upward pointing, 2 to 3½ long, narrow, almost cylindrical pod that is roundish in cross-section. The fruits develop below the inflorescence.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 60

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry. Prairies, fields. Full sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to June

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 

Defense Mechanisms

 
 

This and other mustards (family Brassicaceae) produce chemical compounds when cells are damaged that are toxic to most animals, fungi, and bacteria.

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

 
  4/3/2018      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Brassicales (Mustards, Capers, and Allies)  
 

Family

Brassicaceae (mustard)  
  Tribe Thlaspideae  
 

Genus

Turritis (tower mustard)  
       
 

Tower mustard was placed with one other species in the genus Turritis when it was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. In 1772, Giovanni Antonio Scopoli moved the second species to the genus Arabis based on seed arrangement, leaving Turritis with a single species. In 1783, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck transferred tower mustard to the genus Arabis with the new species name Arabis perfoliata. In 1800, Johann Jakob Bernhardi corrected the classification, renaming it Arabis glabra. In 2009, Koch et al. transferred it back to Turritis based on DNA analysis.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Arabis glabra

Arabis glabra var. furcatipilis

Arabis glabra var. glabra

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

tower mustard

tower-mustard

tower rockcress

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Clasping

Describing a leaf that wholly or partly surrounds the stem but does not fuse at the base.

 

Glaucous

Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.

       
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Plant

  tower mustard    
       

Leaves

  tower mustard   tower mustard
       

Flowers

  tower mustard    
       

Infructescence

  tower mustard    
       
       

 

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