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.



Annual, perennial herb, glabrous, generally glaucous
Stem erect
Leaves: basal generally entire, ± fleshy; cauline lanceolate or oblong to ± round, base cordate, clasping stem
Inflorescence ± flat-topped; bracts 0
Flower: outer 2 sepals linear to narrowly oblong, inner 2 wider; petals yellow or white
Fruit linear; stigma head-like, entire or 2-lobed
Seeds: 1 row per chamber, oblong, plump; wing 0; embryonic root at back of 1 cotyledon or twisted
Species in genus: 6 species: Eurasia
Etymology: (H. Conring, professor at Helmstedt, Germany, 1606–1681)


C. orientalis (L.) Dumort.

Stem 3–7 dm, generally simple
Leaves: basal 5–9 cm, oblanceolate to obovate, narrowed to base, ± entire; cauline sessile, oblong-lanceolate
Flower: sepals erect, 6–8 mm, acute; petals 7–12 mm, lemon to creamy yellow, claws slender
Fruit 8–13 cm, ± beaded, 4-angled to ± cylindric; pedicel ascending, 10–15 mm; style ± 1 mm, thick
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Fields, roadsides, open, disturbed places
Elevation: < 900 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast, East of Sierra Nevada, Sonoran Desert, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: c US; native to Eurasia
Flowering time: Apr–Jun

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