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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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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 to shrub; hairs 0 or simple
Leaves: basal not rosetted, generally petioled, entire to pinnately lobed; cauline short-petioled to sessile, sometimes clasping or surrounding stem
Flower small; sepals erect or spreading, oblong to ovate, shed early or persistent; petals linear to obovate, generally white, rarely yellowish, sometimes bristle-like or 0; stamens 6, 4, or 2
Fruit dehiscent, oblong to elliptic or obcordate, flat perpendicular to septum; pedicel cylindric or flat, winged or not
Seeds 1 per chamber, gelatinous when wetted; wing narrow or 0; embryonic root at back of 1 cotyledon, rarely at edges of both
Species in genus: ± 175 species: ± worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: little scale, from fruit)
Reference: [Hitchcock 1936 Madroño 3:265–300]


L. latipes Hook.

Stem 3–10(25) cm, stout; hairs dense
Leaf 5–10 cm, linear or with linear segments
Inflorescence in fruit very dense, 2–5(12) cm, 1–1.5 cm wide
Flower: sepals ± 1.3 mm, oblong-ovate, densely covered to fringed with spreading hairs; petals 2–4 mm, oblong, greenish, ciliate, hairs sparse on lower side; stamens 4
Fruit 5–7 mm, oblong-ovate; hairs generally large, flat and minute, cylindric; valve tip wings acuminate; notch > 1/3 seed pouch, generally very narrow; pedicel ascending, 2–3 mm, very flat
Ecology: Alkaline soils
Elevation: < 800 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, North Coast Ranges, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Inner South Coast Ranges, South Coast
Distribution outside California: Baja California


var. latipes


Stem prostrate or decumbent, branched at or near base; nodes not spaced
Leaves: basal generally present, entire to pinnately dissected, segments dissected or not; cauline entire
Inflorescence in fruit generally < basal leaves
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Alkaline soils, fields, vernal pools, grasslands
Elevation: < 800 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, North Coast Ranges, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Inner South Coast Ranges, South Coast.

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