Whitlow-grass, common, Draba verna L.

Life Cycle

Annual, winter annual. Reproducing only by seed.


Single or multiple stems from the rosette base that are thin, almost wirey and typically 5-10 cm tall.


A basal rosette with the lower leaves having a stalk while the upper leaves of the rosette being stalkless. Leaves about 1 to 1.5 cm long and 3-4 mm wide, green and pubescent.

Flowers and Fruit

Flowers early in the spring (March- April). 4, 2 lobed white petals that are about 3 mm long and 2 mm wide. 6 erect stamens. The ovary is green, oval and smooth. There are 4 green sepals. The fruit is flat, oval, smooth and contains 2 compartments with multiple seeds.


In agriculture it is most often found in cereal crops, but has also been documented on sod farms


Not considered a particularly competitive species.

Distribution Map


Figure #1.

Close up of a flowering whitlow grass seedling

Figure #2.

A population of whitlow grass in an Ontario winter wheat field taken in late March, 2012.

Figure #3.

A picture of whitlow grass taken in May, 2012