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    Vascular Plants of California
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Nasturtium officinale

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: NasturtiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, aquatic, rhizomatous; hairs simple or 0. Stem: prostrate to erect, rooting at proximal nodes. Leaf: pinnately compound, petioled, base lobed or not, simple in deeply submersed pls. Inflorescence: elongated; bracts 0 or subtending proximal flowers. Flower: sepals erect to ascending, base or lateral pair not sac-like; petals white (pink), not clawed. Fruit: silique, dehiscent, linear, cylindric, unsegmented; stigma entire. Seed: 24--60, in 1 or 2 rows; wing 0.
Species In Genus: 5 species: worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: nose distortion, in reference to plant pungency)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz & Price 1998 Novon 8:124--126

Nasturtium officinale W.T. Aiton
Habit: Plant +- glabrous (sparsely hairy). Stem: erect to decumbent, branched, 1--11(20) dm. Leaf: 2--15(20) cm; leaflets 3--9(13), (0.4)1--4(5) cm, (0.3)0.7--2.5(4) cm wide, round to ovate, oblong, or lanceolate, dentate to entire. Flower: sepals 2--3.5 mm; petals 2.8--4.5(6) mm, 1.5--2.5 mm wide, white. Fruit: (0.6)1--1.8(2.5) cm, narrowed between seeds; style 0.5--1(1.5) mm; pedicels spreading, 0.5--1.7(2.4) cm. Seed: (28)36--60, 0.8--1.1(1.3) mm. Chromosomes: 2n=32.
Ecology: Streams, springs, marshes, lake margins, swamps; Elevation: < 3000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, MP, n SNE, W&I, DMtns; Distribution Outside California: temperate worldwide. Flowering Time: Mar--Nov Note: Widely cultivated for edible greens.
Synonyms: Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (L.) Hayek;
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz & Price 1998 Novon 8:124--126
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botanical illustration including Nasturtium officinale


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Nasturtium officinale, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 19, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 19, 2018.

Nasturtium officinale
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© 2012 Neal Kramer
Nasturtium officinale
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell
Nasturtium officinale
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© 2018 Neal Kramer
Nasturtium officinale
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Nasturtium officinale
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© 1996 Christopher L. Christie
Nasturtium officinale
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© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Nasturtium officinale in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Nasturtium officinale:
CA-FP, MP, n SNE, W&I, DMtns;
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.