Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Lunaria annua

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: LunariaView Description 

Habit: Annual to perennial herb; hairs simple. Leaf: simple, long-petioled, dentate; cauline leaf bases not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: sepals erect, linear, lateral pair sac-like at base; petals long-clawed. Fruit: silicle, widely elliptic to round or oblong, flat parallel to septum, dehiscent, long-stalked above receptacle, unsegmented; style long, slender, stigma 2-lobed. Seed: 4--8, in 2 rows, flat, winged; stalks fused to septum.
Species In Genus: 3 species: Europe. Etymology: (Latin: moon, from shiny fruit septum)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz

Lunaria annua L.
Habit: (Annual) biennial. Stem: (3)4--10(12) dm, hairy at least proximally. Leaf: basal (1.5)3--12(18) cm, (1)2--8(12) cm wide, wide-cordate to cordate-ovate; petiole (1.5)3--10(17) cm; distal sessile. Flower: sepals (5)6--9(10) mm; petals (1.5)1.7--2.5(3) cm, 5--10 mm wide, wide-obovate, purple to lavender (white); claw 5--10 mm. Fruit: 3--5 cm, 2--3(3.5) cm wide, oblong-round; stalk above receptacle 7--18 mm; style 4--10 mm; pedicel (0.7)1--1.5 cm. Seed: (6)7--10(12) mm, 5--9 mm wide, reniform. Chromosomes: 2n=30.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaR, CCo, SnFrB, SCo; Distribution Outside California: Canada, United States; native to Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Lunaria
Next taxon: Lyrocarpa

Name Search
botanical illustration including Lunaria annua


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2017. Lunaria annua, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Lunaria annua:
CaR, CCo, SnFrB, 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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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