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Dryas octopetala (Eightpetal mountain-avens)
Makin, Julie

Dryas octopetala

Dryas octopetala L.

Eightpetal Mountain-avens, Eight-petal Mountain-avens, White Mountain-avens, Mountain Dryas

Rosaceae (Rose Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N)

This slow-growing perennial forms mats up to 3 ft. wide and 8 in. tall. A small, prostrate plant often in large patches, the woody stems rooting, with 1 cream or white flower at end of each erect, leafless flower stalk. The mats appear to be a mass of oval, leathery leaves with rounded teeth. The leaves remain green during winter but deteriorate rapidly as new leaves are produced in spring. Single, white flowers, looking like miniature roses, are borne atop 2-8 in. stems. Summer fruits are fluffy and feathery.

This species often grows with dwarf willows, the prostrate habits of each providing protection against cold, drying winds.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AK , CO , ID , MT , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , NL , NT , NU , QC , YT
Native Distribution: AK, s. to the n. Cascades of WA & in the Rockies to CO; circumpolar
Native Habitat: Gravel bars; limestone outcrops; open meadows

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy or gravelly soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Alberta Fritillary
(Boloria alberta)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Mountain dryas can be propagated by seed, layers or root divisions. Make divisions in early spring. Seeds are slow and not too sure.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Cold, moist stratification for several months substantially increases germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Dryas octopetala in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dryas octopetala in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dryas octopetala


Record Modified: 2015-09-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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