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Vascular Plants of California
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Raphanus raphanistrum

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: RaphanusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, biennial; hairs simple, rigid. Leaf: basal, proximal cauline petioled, pinnately lobed, margin dentate; distal cauline short-petioled to sessile, base not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: sepals erect, oblong to linear, base of inner pair sac-like; petals long-clawed, yellow, white, pink, or purple, veins darker. Fruit: silique or silicle, indehiscent, linear to lanceolate, oblong, or ovoid, segmented; proximal segment short, seedless; terminal segment seeded, beaked; stigma +- 2-lobed. Seed: in 1 row, wingless.
Species In Genus: 3 species: Mediterranean. Etymology: (Greek: appearing rapidly, from seed germination)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Raphanus raphanistrum L.
Habit: Sparsely to densely hairy. Stem: (2)3--8 dm, reflexed-hairy. Leaf: blade 3--15(22) cm, 1--5 cm wide, oblong, obovate, or oblanceolate, lyre-shaped to pinnately lobed; lateral lobes 1--4 pairs, dentate; distal cauline +- sessile, dentate. Flower: sepals 7--11 mm; petals 15--25 mm, 4--7 mm wide, claw 8--14 mm. Fruit: cylindric to narrowly lanceolate; proximal segment 1--1.5 mm; terminal segment (1.5)2--11(14) cm, (2.5)3--8(11) mm wide, woody; pedicel ascending to spreading, 0.7--2.5 cm. Seed: 2.5--3.5 mm, ovoid to oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, fields; Elevation: < 1100 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, GB; Distribution Outside California: North America; native to Mediterranean Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul Note: Hybridizes with Raphanus sativus to produce swarms highly variable in flower color and fruit constriction.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
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Botanical illustration including Raphanus raphanistrum

botanical illustration including Raphanus raphanistrum


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Raphanus raphanistrum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 14, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 14, 2018.

Raphanus raphanistrum
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Raphanus raphanistrum
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Raphanus raphanistrum
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Raphanus raphanistrum
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Raphanus raphanistrum
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© 2004 Carol W. Witham
Raphanus raphanistrum
click for enlargement
© 2015 Barry Breckling

More photos of Raphanus raphanistrum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Raphanus raphanistrum:
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.