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.



Annual, perennial herb
Leaves simple, entire, narrow; hairs appressed, forked at base
Flower: petals widely obovate, entire, white to purplish tinged; stamens 6, anthers ovate, filaments flat, not winged
Fruit very flat parallel to septum, ± sessile above receptacle, tardily dehiscent; valves with prominent midvein, lesser netted veins
Seeds 1–5 per chamber, winged or not; embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Species in genus: 6 species: Medit, Eur
Etymology: (Latin: small lobe, possibly from hairs)


L. maritima (L.) Desv.

Perennial, woody near base or not, grayish
Stem often prostrate or decumbent, branched from base, 1–4 dm
Leaf 1–5 cm, 1–4 mm wide, linear to linear-lanceolate; tip acute
Flower fragrant; sepals 1.5–2 mm; petals 3–4 mm, widely obovate, white; glands at base of short stamens ± 1 mm
Fruit 2–3.5 mm, widely (ob) ovate to round, greenish to brown or purplish; valve hairs generally few; pedicel spreading to ± ascending, 5–10 mm, slender
Seeds 1 per chamber; wing 0; style ± 0.3–0.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Waste places
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to Mediterranean, Europe

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