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; hairs ± dense, stellate, rarely simple, often silvery
Stem generally arising laterally from basal leaf cluster
Leaves simple; basal petioled, linear to round, entire to pinnately lobed; cauline sessile or lower short-petioled, base tapered
Flower: sepals erect or spreading, oblong to elliptic; petals widely obovate, entire, generally yellow; stamens 6
Fruit elliptic to ± round, plump or ± flattened parallel or perpendicular to septum; hairs stellate or 0; pedicel slender, straight or not
Seeds 2–10(14) per chamber, ± round, ± plump or flat; margin generally 0; embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Species in genus: ± 95 species: generally North America, ± 12 South America
Etymology: (L. Lesquereux, Am botanist, 1805–1889)
Reference: [Rollins & Shaw 1973 Harvard Univ Press: 1–228]


L. kingii (S. Watson) S. Watson

Perennial, caudexed; hairs dense, 5–7-rayed
Stems prostrate, decumbent or erect, few–many, 0.5–1.5(4) dm
Leaves: basal blades 2–6 cm, widely elliptic or diamond-shaped to round, entire to ± lobed; cauline 0.5–2 cm, elliptic to obovate, lower short-petioled
Flower: petals 5.5–13 mm
Fruit 3.5–9 mm; valve hairs dense outside, 0 to dense inside; pedicel 5–10(15) mm, generally S-shaped, rarely straight or 1-curved; style (2)4–9 mm
Seeds 2–8 per chamber, flat, not margined
Ecology: Dry soils, rocky sites
Elevation: 1500–2750 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Bernardino Mountains, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Mexico
4 subspp. total.


subsp. latifolia (A. Nelson) Rollins & E.A. Shaw

Plant prostrate to erect
Leaves: basal widely elliptic or ± round, petioles = to 2 X blades
Fruit elliptic to round, ± flat parallel to septum, often short-stalked above receptacle; top obtuse; valve hairs dense outside, 0 inside; septum entire; style 2–6 mm, stout
Seeds 4–8 per chamber
Chromosomes: 2n=10
Ecology: Gravelly soil, limestone outcrops, ridges
Elevation: 1500–2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Mexico
Horticultural information: TRY.

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