Perennials; usually long-lived; apomictic; caudex woody. Stems usually 1 per caudex branch, arising from center of rosette, elevated above ground surface on woody base, (2-) 3.5-13 dm, densely pubescent proximally, trichomes short-stalked, 2-4-rayed, 0.3-0.9 mm, moderately to sparsely pubescent distally. Basal leaves: blade linear to oblanceolate, 3-10(-13) mm wide, margins entire or denticulate, ciliate along petiole, trichomes to 1.3 mm, surfaces densely pubescent, trichomes short-stalked, 4-8-rayed, 0.2-0.5 mm. Cauline leaves: 12-35(-55), often concealing stem proximally; blade auricles 1-5(-6) mm, surfaces of distalmost leaves pubescent. Racemes 30-120-flowered, usually unbranched. Fruiting pedicels descending to horizontal, usually recurved, rarely straight, 4-20 mm, pubescent, trichomes appressed, 3-7-rayed. Flowers divaricate-ascending at anthesis; sepals pubescent; petals usually purple, rarely pinkish, 9-14 × 1.5-3 mm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent (trichomes scattered abaxially); pollen spheroid. Fruits widely pendent, not appressed to rachis, not secund, usually curved, rarely straight, edges parallel, (6-)8-12 cm × 1.5-2.5 mm; valves glabrous or trichomes sometimes scattered; ovules 140-180 per ovary; style 0.05-0.3 mm. Seeds uniseriate or sub-biseriate, 1.7-2 × 1.2-1.7 mm; wing continuous, 0.2-0.4 mm wide.
Flowering Mar-Jun. Rocky slopes and gravelly soil in desert chaparral and oak woodlands; 300-2300 m; Calif.; Mexico (Baja California).
Morphological evidence suggests that Boechera californica is an apomictic species that arose through hybridization between B. arcuata and B. pulchra (see M. D. Windham and I. A. Al-Shehbaz 2007 for detailed comparison). In the flora area, B. californica is known only from Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties.