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.
Common Name: PEPPERGRASS, PEPPERCRESS
Habit: Annual to perennial herb (shrub); hairs 0 or simple. Leaf: basal rosetted or not, petioled, entire, dentate, to 1--3-pinnately lobed; cauline short-petioled to sessile, base occasionally lobed to clasping. Inflorescence: elongated or congested. Flower: sepals erect or spreading, oblong to ovate, base not sac-like; petals linear to obovate, white or yellow (pink or purple), occasionally reduced or 0; stamens 2, 4, or 6. Fruit: silicle, generally dehiscent, oblong to ovate, obcordate, or round (spectacle-shaped), flat perpendicular to septum (inflated), unsegmented. Seed: 2(4), gelatinous when wet; wing narrow or 0.
Species In Genus: 220 species: all continents except Antarctica. Etymology: (Greek: little scale, from fruit)
Habit: Annual, puberulent. Stem: erect, 1 from base, (0.6)1.5--5.5(7) dm, branched distally. Leaf: not rosetted, early-deciduous, (1)2.5--10(15) cm, obovate or spoon-shaped to oblanceolate, pinnately lobed to dentate; mid-cauline short-petioled, 1--6 cm, oblanceolate or linear, entire to serrate, lobed, or divided, base tapered, not lobed. Inflorescence: much elongated; rachis puberulent, hairs curved, cylindric. Flower: sepals (0.5)0.7--1(1.1) mm; petals 1--2.5 mm, 0.3--0.8(1) mm wide, spoon-shaped to oblanceolate, white; stamens 2. Fruit: 2.5--3.5(4) mm, +- round, tip winged, notch 0.2--0.5 mm; valves glabrous or puberulent, not veined; style 0.1--0.2 mm, included in notch; pedicel +- spreading, 2.5--4(6) mm, cylindric or flattened, puberulent adaxially (throughout, or glabrous). Seed: 1.3--2 mm, ovate. Chromosomes: 2n=32.
Note: Generally divided into many varieties based on poorly defined, inconsistent characters.