Plant of the Month for May, 2016

Draba korabensisheader
Draba korabensis

 (Dray-buh  kor-ab-EN-sis)

General Information:

The plant pictured in this post is known in the trade as Draba korabensis - a nice yellow flowering Draba. But is this the right plant?

Draba korabensis: photo by Robert Pavlis

Draba korabensis: photo by Robert Pavlis

There is very little information available about this plant on the internet, but I did manage to find a herbarium specimen and a detailed description of the species:

Based on this information Draba korabensis has white flowers and quite a long flower scape. The plant pictured here is yellow with a 2 inch flower scape.

This mystery Draba is one of the yellow flowering Drabas that makes a nice bloom display early in the year along with the early daffodils. This early blooming ensures that it is covered with bees who are desperately looking for pollen. After flowering, it forms a nice tight bun of tinny green leaves which makes it very attractive in the rock garden all summer long.

If you leave the finished flower heads on the plant, you will almost certainly get some seed. The plant is easy to grow from seed and it even seeds around a bit. Each seed makes a small plant that very slowly grows into a larger clump. A trick with this kind of plant is to leave several seedlings in the same pot and grow them together into adulthood. That way you get a good sized plant in a year.

Draba korabensis: photo by Robert Pavlis

Draba korabensis: photo by Robert Pavlis

The plant in the photos was grown from SeedEx seed so it is possible that the name of the plant is incorrect. Keep in mind that the nursery trade does use D. korabensis for this plant so that may be the most likely name you will see if you are trying to obtain this plant. If you can’t find this exact species, try one of the other yellow Drabas – they all seem like nice rock garden plants and all are easy to grow from seed.

Draba korabensis seedling by Robert Pavlis

Draba korabensis, second year seedling growing on 1/4 gravel, by Robert Pavlis

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 2cm (1 in)

Bloom Time: spring

Natural Range: Serbia, Balkans


Synonyms:  Schivereckia korabensis


Light: full sun

Soil: well drained, scree

Water: drought tolerant once established

USDA Hardiness Zone: ?5 – ?(it does grow in zone 5 reliably)

Propagation: seed, division

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): occasionally

Sow @ 20°C. Seed germinates within 3 months.
Requires light or the small seeds should be surface sown. See
Robert Pavlis