Leavenworthia aurea var. texana

Common Names:
Texas Golden Glade Cress, golden gladecress
(Mahler) Rollins
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
David C. Berkshire
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:
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

The conservation of Leavenworthia aurea var. texana is fully sponsored.
David C. Berkshire contributed to this Plant Profile.


A pretty little winter annual less than 1 dm tall. Leaves in a basal rosette, lyrately lobed with a large terminal lobe and several smaller lateral lobes, to about 5 cm long, glabrous, the terminal lobe usually wider than long, the margin usually angularly toothed. Flowers borne on scapes 3-9 cm or, later in the season, in racemes on lateral decumbent branches; sepals 4, 4-5 mm long; petals 4, bright golden-yellow with a slightly darker base, narrowly obovate, 7-10 mm long, emarginate at the apex (with aging); stamens 6; style 2-3.5 mm long. Fruit a silique flattened parallel to the septum, erect, 1.5-3 cm long and about 5 mm wide, with sinuous rather than straight margins (somewhat constricted between the seeds), containing several orbicular seeds 3.5-4.5 mm in diameter (Correll & Johnston 1979; Mahler 1987).

U.S Army officer, Dr. M. C. Leavenworth, discovered the Texas Golden Glade Cress and another rare endemic, White Bladderpod, Lesquerella pallida, on small prairies near San Augustine, Texas in the 1830s. Both Texas Golden Glade Cress and White Bladderpod only occur in the wild on shallow calciumcontaining soils on ironstone outcrops of unusual geological regions called the Weches Formation. The Weches Formation is composed of bands of ancient marine sediments that lie parallel to the Gulf Coast from Sabine to Frio Counties. In East Texas, these alkaline "islands" of soil contrast the surrounding acid soils of the Pineywoods. The thin top layer of these alkaline sediments contains fossilized calcium-containing marine shells and the mineral glauconite. The glades remain saturated during rainy periods and then become very dry during the heat of the summer (W.F. Mahler, 1981).
The seeds of these species normally begin to germinate on the glades during fall rains and the plants over winter as small tap-rooted plantlets.

FLOWER PHENOLIOGY: Flowering and fruiting late February to April or May

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research