Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
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 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. virginicum L.

Annual; hairs 0 to dense
Stem erect; branches above, generally 0 below
Leaves: basal 5–15 cm, obovate, ± pinnately lobed to dissected; upper cauline reduced, entire, rarely dentate
Flower: sepals ± 1 mm, hairs 0 or few, on lower surface; petals 1–2(3) mm, obovate, white; stamens 2(4)
Fruit 2.5–4 mm, ± round, glabrous; notch shallow, generally > style; pedicel = or > fruit, slender, cylindric to flat, puberulent or hairs large, generally 0 on lower surface
Seed: embryonic root generally at back of 1 cotyledon
Ecology: Dry, generally open areas
Elevation: < 2400 m.
Bioregional distribution: California (except High Sierra Nevada)
Distribution outside California: widespread N.America
9 vars. total, difficult.


var. virginicum

Stem 2–6 dm; hairs sparse to ± dense, minute, rounded
Leaves: cauline dissected to ± entire
Inflorescence: pedicel ± cylindric, hairs sparse
Seeds: embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Ecology: Old fields, roadsides
Elevation: < 2400 m.
Bioregional distribution: California (except Klamath Ranges, High Sierra Nevada)
Distribution outside California: probably alien in California

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for LEPIDIUM%20virginicum%20var.%20virginicum being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Lepidium virginicum var. virginicum
Retrieve dichotomous key for Lepidium
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
Return to the Jepson Interchange main page
Return to treatment index page

University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page |
General Information | University Herbarium | Jepson Herbarium |
Visiting the Herbaria | On-line Resources | Research |
Education | Related Sites
Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California