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Alyssum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MUSTARD FAMILY
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.

Alyssum
Habit: Annual [perennial herb]; hairs stellate, occasionally also simple. Stem: 1--several. Leaf: entire. Flower: sepals erect to spreading, bases not sac-like; petals yellow to cream, occasionally white in age; filaments slender or winged, toothed or not. Fruit: silicle, round (oblong), dehiscent, unsegmented, flat parallel to septum, glabrous or hairy; stigma entire. Seed: 1--2(4)[8].
Species In Genus: +- 170 species: northern North America, Eurasia, northern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: without rabies, supposed cure for hydrophobia and madness) Note: Alyssum strigosum Banks & Sol. reports in California based on misidentified plants of Alyssum simplex.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Alyssum

Previous taxon: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Next taxon: Alyssum alyssoides

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Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2016. Alyssum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=8805, accessed on May 06, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 06, 2016.


Alyssum simplex
click for enlargement
© 2010 Steve Matson
Alyssum simplex
click for enlargement
© 2010 Steve Matson
Alyssum simplex
click for enlargement
© 2010 Steve Matson
Alyssum desertorum
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© 2012 Barry Breckling
Alyssum simplex
click for enlargement
© 2010 Steve Matson
Alyssum simplex
click for enlargement
© 2010 Steve Matson

More photos of Alyssum in CalPhotos