Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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

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.

DESCURAINIA

TANSY MUSTARD

Annual, biennial, rarely per; hairs generally minute, generally multibranched, fewer simple, some glandular
Stem branched
Leaves 1–many-pinnately lobed to compound; basal often rosetted but withering
Inflorescence elongating; bracts generally 0
Flower: petals < 3 mm, yellow or whitish, blades obovate, obtuse
Fruit linear to ± obovate, straight or uneven-margined, generally ± cylindric; style < 0.8 mm or 0, stigma generally head-like, entire
Seeds: 1–2 rows per chamber, generally < 1 mm, elliptic, plump, gelatinous when wet; wing 0; embryonic root at back of 1 cotyledon
Species in genus: ± 40 species: worldwide temp
Etymology: (F. Descourain, French botanist, 1658–1740)
Reference: [Detling 1939 Amer Midl Naturalist 22: 481–520]
Relationships, characters of species difficult. May be TOXIC to livestock.

Native

D. californica (A. Gray) O.E. Schulz

Winter annual to biennial
Stem 1, 3–8 dm; glands 0; branches above, slender
Leaves oblanceolate to obovate, greenish, 1-pinnately lobed; lobes 2–4 pairs, 1.5–6 cm, lanceolate to oblanceolate, tip acute or obtuse, margins serrate to dissected; lower cauline leaves ± hairy, upper ± glabrous
Inflorescence: bracts subtending branches, leaf-like
Flower: petals spreading, < 2 mm, barely > sepals, bright yellow
Fruit erect to spreading, 2–5 mm, fusiform, ± straight or curved; pedicel ascending to spreading, 3–7 mm, slender; style generally 0.5–0.8 mm
Seeds 1–3, 1 row per chamber
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Open sites, sagebrush, scrub, aspen groves, open woodlands
Elevation: 2100–3400 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Wyoming, New Mexico
Flowering time: May–Aug

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