Arabis mcdonaldiana

Common Names:
McDonald's rock cress, Red Mountain rock cress
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs

The conservation of Arabis mcdonaldiana is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.


The small crimson to purple flowers of Arabis macdonaldiana are both beautiful and fragrant (Eastwood 1903). This interesting little plant was discovered in northern Mendocino County, California in 1902, and described as a distinct species the following year. Its discoverer was Alice Eastwood, one of the earliest and most well known female botanists. It was not identified in Oregon until 1980, a year after its listing as endangered with the Fish and Wildlife Service (Meinke 1982).

Arabis macdonaldiana was the second plant species to be listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (September 1978). As the time of listing, only one population of A. macdonaldiana was known, and it was in imminent danger of being destroyed by nickel mining. Today, because of the discovery of additional populations in California and Oregon as well as some complex taxonomic changes, there are many populations of A. macdonaldiana known. Despite the fact that there are many more populations known than when it was originally listed, the species is still in grave danger. The large number of populations may make the species eligible for down-listing or de-listing. This may sound like a great accomplishment. However, populations are still small and still at great risk from mining activities and other human caused disturbances. As many of the known sites are on National Forest land, their listing as Endangered by the Fish and Wildlife Service is one of few protective measures keeping nickel mining from destroying them and their habitat.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research