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, biennial
Stems 1–several from base, generally erect; hairs 0 or simple or branched
Leaves: basal and lower cauline pinnately lobed to 1-pinnate; upper often simpler, grayish green
Inflorescence elongate, open
Flower small; sepals ± oblong to ovate, bases generally not sac-like; petals spoon-shaped to ± oblong, white to purplish
Fruit linear, flat parallel to septum or ± cylindric; valve veined or not
Seed oblong or ± round, winged or not; embryonic root at back of 1 cotyledon or at edges of 1 or both
Species in genus: 10 species: North America
Etymology: (Anagram of Arabis)

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