Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



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.



Biennial, perennial herb; base woody or not; hairs 0 to dense, simple, forked, stellate, or multibranched; caudex branched or not
Stem branched or not, cylindric, leafy
Leaves: basal petioled, entire or dentate; cauline generally sessile, entire or dentate, base often lobed, often clasping stem
Inflorescence: bracts 0
Flower erect to reflexed; sepals erect; petals spoon-shaped to oblong and narrowed at base or narrowly obovate, white to deep purple, rarely straw-colored
Fruit erect to reflexed, linear, straight to curved, flat parallel to septum, rarely ± cylindric
Seeds ± many, generally 1 row per chamber, flat or plump, winged or not; embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Species in genus: ± 120 species: temp North America, Eurasia, Africa
Etymology: (Latin: of Arabia)


A. pulchra S. Watson

Perennial; base subshrubby; caudex branched or not, elevated; hairs multibranched, often appressed, minute
Stems 1–several, branched or not, 2–6 dm; hairs dense or 0 above
Leaves: hairs dense; basal 4–8 cm, linear, entire; cauline sessile, 2–6 cm, linear, entire, base lobed or not, clasping stem or not
Flower: petals 8–20 mm, widely spoon-shaped, purple to reddish purple
Fruit 4–7 cm; pedicel 8–20 mm, hairs dense; style very short or 0
Seeds 2 rows per chamber, ± round; wing prominent
Ecology: Canyons, slopes, washes
Elevation: 600–2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Arizona, Mexico
5 vars. total.


var. munciensis M.E. Jones


Stem: upper densely hairy
Fruit pendent to spreading; hairs dense; pedicel spreading-recurved, hairs dense
Chromosomes: 2n=21
Ecology: Canyon slopes, ledges, rock outcrops, desert scrub
Elevation: 1100–2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah
Flowering time: Apr
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for ARABIS%20pulchra%20var.%20munciensis being generated

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