western rock jasmine

(Androsace occidentalis)

Conservation Status
western rock jasmine
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland


FACU - Facultative upland

  Northcentral & Northeast

UPL - Obligate upland


Western rock jasmine is a small annual forb that appears as a basal rosette of leaves and several flowering stalks rising from a slender taproot. It occurs throughout western and central North America. It is most common between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River. In Minnesota it is occasional in the western, southern, and central regions, absent from the northeast. It is short-lived, flowering from April to May and dying back by mid-summer. It is easily overlooked due to its diminutive size. For these reasons it may be more common than reported.

Western rock jasmine does not form mats. Numerous leaves form a single inconspicuous, radiating cluster (rosette) on or close to the ground. The leaves are lance-shaped to egg-shaped, 3 16 to ¾ (5 to 20 mm) long, and to (4 to 9 mm) wide. They are on minute leaf stalks. The leaf blades are green, sometimes reddish-green toward the tip, rarely entirely red. They are tapered to the base and taper to a narrowly rounded tip. The upper surface is covered with short, fine, soft, unbranched, grayish-white hairs. The lower surface is hairless. The margins are hairy and may be untoothed or have shallow, blunt teeth toward the tip.

There is no true stem. Rising from the center of the basal rosette are usually 3 to 15, sometimes just 1 or 2, long flower stalks (scapes). The inner scapes are more or less erect, the outer are curved upward from the base (ascending). The scapes can be 13 16to 4 (3 to 10 cm) long, but are is usually no more than 3 (7 cm) in length. They are unbranched, leafless, and covered with minute, fine, soft, branched hairs. They may be green, greenish-red, or entirely red.

At the end of each scape there is sometimes a single flower but usually an umbrella-shaped cluster (umbel) of 2 to 10 or more flowers. Each umbel is subtended by a whorl (involucre) of up to 10 modified leaves (bracts). The bracts are relatively broad, lance-shaped to elliptic or egg-shaped, (3 to 4 mm) long, and 1 16 (1.5 to 2.0 mm) wide. The rays of the umbel (pedicels) are slender, finely hairy, and to 13 16 (10 to 30 mm) long. The pedicels are unequal in length. The inner ones are more or less straight, the outer ones are ascending.

The flowers are about 1 16 (2 mm) wide and 1 16 to (2 to 4 mm) long. There are 5 sepals, 5 petals, 5 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals (calyx) are green, minutely hairy, and to ¼ (3 to 6 mm) long. They are fused at the base for less than half their length into a ridged, broadly bell-shaped cup, then separated into five erect, broadly lance-shaped lobes. The petals (corolla) are white and 1 16 to (2 to 4 mm) long. They are fused at the base into a floral tube that is shorter than or equal to the calyx, then separated into 5 ascending to spreading lobes. The lobes are shorter than the floral tube. The stamens have very short stalks (filaments) and do not protrude from the corolla.

The fruit is an oval, to 3 16 long capsule containing 20 to 50 dark brown seeds. The petals are persistent in fruit, the tips remaining white, even after the capsule has been shed.




13 16to 4 (3 to 10 cm)


Flower Color




Similar Species


Moderately moist to dry. Upland prairies with sand, gravel, or rocky debris; hillsides; ravines; cliffs; old fields; railroads; roadsides; and disturbed areas. Full sun.




April to May




Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.








In Minnesota, absent in northeast, occasional elsewhere.

  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 Asteranae  


Ericales (heathers, balsams, primroses, and allies)  


Primulaceae (primrose)  
  Subfamily Primuloideae  
  Tribe Androsaceeae  


Androsace (rock jasmine)  

Subordinate Taxa




Androsace arizonica

Androsace occidentalis var. arizonica

Androsace occidentalis var. simplex


Common Names


western rock jasmine

western rock-jasmine

western rockjasmine












Growing upward at an angle or curving upward from the base.



Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.



A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.



On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.



A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.



On plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. On insects: the second segment of the antenna. On Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen: the preferred term is petiole.



A radiating group or cluster of leaves usually on or close to the ground.



On plants: An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster. On insects: The basal segment of the antenna.



A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

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  western rock jasmine   western rock jasmine


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  western rock jasmine    


  western rock jasmine    

Rosette of Basal Leaves

  western rock jasmine    


  western rock jasmine    






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Created: 11/4/2019

Last Updated:

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