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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©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. montanum Nutt.

Biennial to shrub-like, rounded; root crown simple or branched
Stems generally ± erect, 1–several, (1)2–4 dm; branches 0 or many
Leaves: basal 3–15 cm, pinnately lobed, lobes generally dentate or dissected; cauline reduced, upper generally entire, petioled to not
Inflorescence 2–4 cm, many-flowered
Flower: sepals 1.2 mm, hairs 0 to sparse; petals ± 2 mm, white to pale cream; stamens (2)6
Fruit 2.5–4 mm, ± ovate, glabrous; pedicel ± cylindric, slender; style > notch, 0.3–1 mm
Ecology: Sandy, gravelly, often saline soils
Elevation: 800–2100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Cascade Range, Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Oregon, Montana, Arizona, n Mexico
11 often indistinct vars.


var. cinereum (C.L. Hitchc.) Rollins

Perennial, rarely biennial; hairs of stems, pedicels ± dense, minute, short, oblong
Leaves: basal pinnately lobed, lobes often dentate; upper generally linear, entire
Fruit hairy or not
Ecology: Sandy areas, saline soils, ravines
Elevation: 800–1900 m.
Bioregional distribution: Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: Nevada
Flowering time: Apr–May
Synonyms: subsp. c. C.L. Hitchc

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