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, hairy or not
Stem erect, herbaceous
Leaves simple, entire to deeply lobed; basal often shed early
Flower: sepals erect, bases not sac-like
Fruit 0.5–3 cm, linear, cylindric, hairy or not
Seeds many, (1)2 rows per chamber, 0.4–1.5 mm, elliptic; wing 0; embryonic root at back of 1 cotyledon
Species in genus: 19 species: generally Mex
Etymology: (Greek: sea pod, from resemblance to Alyssum halimifolium )
Reference: [Rollins 1943 Contr Dudley Herb 3:241–265]


H. virgata (Nutt.) Schulz


Biennial, perennial herb; hairs simple or multibranched; base not woody
Stem generally 1, simple below, branched above, 1–4 dm
Leaves: basal generally present, 2–6 cm, oblanceolate, entire or toothed; cauline 1.5–4 cm, lanceolate to oblong, entire to toothed, sessile
Inflorescence open to dense
Flower: petals 3–4 mm, spoon-shaped, white; stamens not exserted
Fruit erect, 2–4 cm, ± 1 mm wide, straight; pedicels ascending, 5–12 mm, ± hairy; style ± 0.5 mm
Seed ± 1 mm, not embedded in septum
Ecology: Meadows, near aspen groves, pinyon/ juniper woodland
Elevation: 2000–3000 m.
Bioregional distribution: East of Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to w Canada, Colorado
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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