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Cakile edentula

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub; sap pungent, watery. Leaf: generally simple, alternate; generally both basal, cauline; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally not bracted. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 4, generally free; petals (0)4, forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple; stamens generally 6 (2 or 4), 4 long, 2 short (3 pairs of unequal length); ovary 1, superior, generally 2-chambered with septum connecting 2 parietal placentas; style 1, stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule, generally 2-valved, "silique" (length >= 3 × width) or "silicle" (length < 3 × width), dehiscent by 2 valves or indehiscent, cylindric or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, segmented or not. Seed: 1--many, in 1 or 2 rows per chamber, winged or wingless; embryo strongly curved.
Genera In Family: +- 330 genera, 3780 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Highest diversity in Mediterranean area, mountains of southwestern Asia, adjacent central Asia, western North America; some Brassica species are oil or vegetable crops; Arabidopsis thaliana used in experimental molecular biology; many species are ornamentals, weeds. Aurinia saxatilis (L.) Desvaux in cultivation only. Aubrieta occasional waif in central NCoR, Carrichtera annua (L.) DC. in SCo, Iberis sempervirens L., Iberis umbellata L. in PR, Teesdalia coronopifolia (Bergeret) Thell., Teesdalia nudicaulis (L.) W.T. Aiton in southern NCoRO, CCo. Cardaria, Coronopus moved to Lepidium; Caulostramina to Hesperidanthus; Guillenia to Caulanthus; Heterodraba to Athysanus; California taxa of Lesquerella to Physaria; Malcolmia africana to Strigosella.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CakileView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: SEA ROCKET
Habit: Annual (perennial herb), fleshy, many-branched, glabrous. Stem: erect or decumbent. Leaf: fleshy, cauline, petioled or not, base not lobed. Inflorescence: terminal, elongating. Flower: sepal base not sac-like; petals white to lavender (0). Fruit: silique or silicle, fleshy, in age corky, indehiscent, segmented, segments 2, transversely jointed, each generally 1-seeded; stigma entire or +- 2-lobed. Seed: oblong.
Species In Genus: 7 species: shores, eastern North America, Europe, northern Africa. Etymology: (Arabic name)

Cakile edentula (Bigelow) Hook.
Stem: generally ascending to erect, <= 8 dm. Leaf: cauline ovate to spoon-shaped, petioled or not. Flower: sepals 3.5--5 mm; petals 0 or 4.5--9.5 mm. Fruit: 1.2--2.9 cm, 5--9 mm wide; terminal segment 7--15 mm, tip +- flat. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Beach dunes; Elevation: < 50 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CCo, SCo; Distribution Outside California: native to eastern North America. Flowering Time: May--Nov Note: Now less common in California, being replaced by Cakile maritima.
Synonyms: Cakile edentula subsp. californica (A. Heller) Hultén
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
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botanical illustration including Cakile edentula


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2016. Cakile edentula, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 22, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 22, 2016.

Geographic subdivisions for Cakile edentula:
NCo, CCo, SCo;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.