Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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BRASSICACEAE

MUSTARD FAMILY

Reed C. Rollins, except as specified

Annual to subshrub
Leaves generally basal and cauline, alternate, generally simple; stipules 0
Inflorescence: generally raceme
Flower bisexual; sepals 4, free; petals (0)4, free, generally white or yellow, often clawed; stamens generally (2,4)6, generally 4 long, 2 short; ovary 1, superior, chambers generally 2, septum membranous, connecting 2 parietal placentas, style 1, stigma simple or 2-lobed
Fruit: generally capsule ("silique") with 2 deciduous valves, sometimes breaking transversely or indehiscent
Seeds 1–many per chamber
Genera in family: 300+ genera, 3000+ species: worldwide, especially cool regions; some cultivated for food (especially Brassica, Raphanus ) and ornamental
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Capparaceae [Rodman et al. 1993 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 80:686–699; Rollins 1993 Cruciferae of Continental North America. Stanford Univ Press]
Family description, key to genera by Robert A. Price.

ALYSSUM

Annual, perennial herb; hairs simple or branched, often stellate
Stems 1–several
Leaves simple, entire
Flower: sepals erect to spreading, bases not sac-like; petals yellow to cream, often fading to ± white; long filaments paired, generally winged, short ones single, generally appendaged
Fruit round to widely oblong, very flat parallel to septum
Seeds 1–2(6) per chamber; embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Species in genus: ± 180 species: n North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: without rabies, from supposed cure for hydrophobia)

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