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Sisymbrium altissimum

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: SisymbriumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual [to perennial herb]; hairs simple or 0. Leaf: basal rosetted or not, petioled, simple, entire, dentate, or pinnately lobed; cauline petioled or sessile, base not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: sepals erect to spreading, lateral pair generally not sac-like at base, tips horned or not; petals yellow [white, pink], clawed. Fruit: silique, dehiscent, linear or awl-shaped, cylindric, unsegmented; stigma 2-lobed. Seed: 6--160, in 1 row, wingless.
Species In Genus: 41 species: North America, Eurasia, northern and southern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: for various mustards)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Warwick & Al-Shehbaz 2003 Novon 13:265--267

Sisymbrium altissimum L.
Stem: (2)4--12(16) dm, branched distally. Leaf: basal, proximal cauline (2)5--20(35) cm, pinnately lobed; lateral lobes (3)4--6(8) pairs, oblong to lanceolate, entire or dentate; distal finely dissected into linear to thread-like segments. Flower: sepals 4--6 mm, tip horned; petals (5)6--8(10) mm, 2.5--4 mm wide, claw 3.5--6 mm. Fruit: (4.5)6--9(12) cm, 1--2 mm wide, linear; style 0.5--2 mm; pedicels spreading, (4)6--10(13) mm, +- as thick as fruit. Seed: 90--120, 0.8--1 mm, oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, fields, pastures; Elevation: < 2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA; Distribution Outside California: North America; native to Europe. Flowering Time: May--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Warwick & Al-Shehbaz 2003 Novon 13:265--267
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botanical illustration including Sisymbrium altissimum


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

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

Sisymbrium altissimum
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© 2015 Steve Matson
Sisymbrium altissimum
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© 2008 Thomas Stoughton
Sisymbrium altissimum
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Sisymbrium altissimum
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Sisymbrium altissimum
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© 2007 Thomas Stoughton
Sisymbrium altissimum
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© 2008 Steve Matson

More photos of Sisymbrium altissimum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sisymbrium altissimum:
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.