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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.



Roy E. Buck

Annual to perennial herb, generally tapered-hairy on leaves and lower stem
Stem generally ascending to erect, ± glaucous
Leaves ± entire to deeply cut; basal generally rosetted, withering, generally oblanceolate to obovate; cauline generally linear to obovate, clasping, reduced
Inflorescence becoming more open; bracts generally 0
Flower biradial to ± bilateral; calyx ± urn-shaped, sepals often ± pouched below, generally not green, generally not darker in bud, generally erect after flower; petal (and sepal) margins often scarious, wavy or not; filaments generally in 3 pairs, generally free (or longest 1–2 pairs ± fused below); style < 4 mm, stigma generally 2-lobed
Fruit ascending to reflexed, generally cylindric
Seed generally ± oblong, generally compressed, generally ± brown
Species in genus: ± 14 species: ± sw North America
Etymology: (Greek: stem flower, from use of some as cauliflower-like vegetable)


C. pilosus S. Watson


Annual? to weak per; hairs slender, barely tapered
Stem: branches 0–many
Leaves: lower blades 1–25 cm (± > petioles), oblanceolate to oblong, ± cut; upper blades linear to oblanceolate, entire or few-lobed, petioled
Inflorescence: lowest 1–4 flowers often bracted
Flower: sepals 3–10 mm, 2 or 4 pouched at base, greenish to purple, darker in bud or not; petals 5–13 mm, whitish or purplish, margins wavy, scarious or not; style generally < 0.5 mm
Fruit ascending to spreading, 2–18 cm, often curved
Seed 1–3 mm
Ecology: Uncommon. Open, dry areas
Elevation: 600–2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: c&s High Sierra Nevada (eastern slope), s Modoc Plateau (Honey Lake), East of Sierra Nevada, n Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to se Oregon, s Idaho, w Utah
Flowering time: Apr–Jul
Plants from c&s SNH with dark purple sepals and seeds > 2 mm are an undescribed sp.

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