Herbs & Plants

Arabis alpina

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Botanical Name : Arabis alpina
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Arabis
Species:A. alpina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names: Alpine Rock Cress, Alpine rockcress

Habitat : Arabis alpina is native to Europe. In Britain it is only found on the Isle of Skye. It grows on the screes and rocks in moist sites in mountains.

Arabis alpina is a perennial plant. The stems grow up to 40 cm (16 inches) tall, and are topped with loose heads of white, four-petalled flowers. The leaves in the basal rosette are long, strongly toothed and clearly stalked, although the stem leaves are stalkless and clasp the stem.


It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Mar to May, and the seeds ripen in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Easily grown in ordinary well-drained soil. Prefers a sandy loam and a sunny position. Another report says that it prefers partial shade[134]. Plants resent root disturbance and are best put in their final positions whilst still small. The flowers are attractive to bees.
Seed – it is best to surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold fram. Seed can also be sown in spring. It usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division after flowering. Very easy, the divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required. Cuttings in a shady border in summer.

Edible Uses: ...Young leaves – cooked or raw. An agreeable cress-like flavour. Flowers – raw or cooked. A cress-like flavour.

Medicinal Uses: Could not find anywhere.
Other Uses:
Best when massed as a ground cover in rock gardens, on slopes or cascading over a stone wall. May also be used in the border front as an edging plant. A good compliment to early spring bulbs such as Narcissus.

A. alpina is believed to have originated in Asia Minor about 2 million years ago. From there it migrated twice into East Africa (500,000 years ago) where it grows today on the high East African mountains in the ericaceous belt. Another migration route led A. alpina into Europe which was then colonised periglacially. In genetic terms, the highest diversity is found in Asia Minor. In central and northern Europe, A. alpina seems to be genetically quite uniform .

There is growing interest to develop Arabis alpina as a model organism for genetics, population genetics, and molecular biology. The first genetic linkage map has been created and the first phenotypes, especially perenniality, are tackled by QTL mapping.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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