Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©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.

LEPIDIUM

PEPPERGRASS, PEPPERWORT

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]

Native

L. nitidum Torr. & A. Gray

Annual
Stem erect to spreading, 1–4 dm, slender, puberulent near inflorescence, ± glabrous below; branches 0–many
Leaves: basal 3–10 cm, deeply pinnately divided, segments 6–14, linear, entire to coarsely toothed or lobed; cauline less divided to simple, entire
Flower: sepals ± 1 mm, ovate, hairy or not, not persistent in fruit; petals < 1.5 mm, spoon-shaped, white; stamens generally 6
Fruit 2.5–4(6) mm, ovate-elliptic to ± round, smooth, shiny; notch narrow, 0.2–0.5 mm deep; hairs 0, rarely few, marginal, minute; pedicel ± recurved to ascending, very flat, ± densely puberulent; style 0
Ecology: Alkaline soils, flats, slopes
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California (except e Desert)
Distribution outside California: to Oregon, c US

Native

var. howellii C.L. Hitchc.


Stem: hairs dense
Inflorescences many, dense
Fruit generally fringed with hairs; valves 3.5–5 mm, tips erect or ± ascending, not beak-like
Ecology: Slopes, flats
Elevation: 750–1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: w Mojave Desert.

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