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, tufted, ± scapose, glabrous
Leaf erect, linear to narrowly awl-like, entire
Flower: sepals erect; petals 0 or white; stamens unappendaged; style 0, stigma entire
Fruit inflated, dehiscent; valves 1-ribbed
Seeds 2–6, 2 rows per chamber; cotyledons linear; embryonic root at back of 1 cotyledon
Species in genus: 2 species: n hemisphere, aquatic or of seashores
Etymology: (Latin: awl, from shape of some leaves)


S. aquatica L. var. americana (G.A. Mulligan & Calder) Boivin

Leaf 1–5(7) cm, narrowly awl-like
Inflorescence: flower stem 2–12(18) cm, leafless
Flower minute; sepals erect; petals ± > sepals, white
Fruit 2–3 mm, narrowly elliptic to widely obovate; pedicels ascending to erect, 2–5 mm, straight
Seed ± 1 mm, oblong; wing 0
Ecology: Uncommon. Shallow lake margins, streambanks
Elevation: 2000–3100 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, ne US
Var. aquatica native to Eurasia.

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