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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; herbage hairs dense, stellate, multibranched
Leaves oblanceolate to widely obovate, entire to and shallowly dentate to lobed; basal and lower cauline petioled; middle and upper cauline petioles 0 or short
Inflorescence: bracts 0
Flower fragrant; sepals overlapped; petals erect, narrowly tongue-shaped, white to lavender
Fruit indehiscent, flat perpendicular to septum; 1-seeded halves ± round, each bordered by a raised rim; hairs simple, forked, club-like or not, especially dense on rim; pedicel < 3 mm, stout
Seed widely oblong, flat; wing 0; embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Species in genus: 2 species: CA, Mex
Etymology: (Greek: with 2 shields, from fruit)
Reference: [Rollins 1979 Publ Bussey Inst Harvard 3–32]


D. californica Harv.

Annual canescent; bases of cauline leaves, pedicels with paired glands
Stems arising below leaf clusters, decumbent to erect, 1–7 dm; branches 0 below, sparse or 0 above
Leaves not fleshy, canescent; basal 3–15 cm, oblanceolate to widely obovate, dentate to shallowly lobed, tip obtuse; cauline 1–4 cm, widely oblong to ovate
Flower: petals 12–15 mm, prominently 3-veined, whitish to light lavender
Fruit: hairs simple, club-like or not; pedicel spreading
Seed 3–4 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=20
Ecology: Abundant. Sandy places, washes, scrub
Elevation: < 1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: w Arizona, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–May
Horticultural information: TRY.

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