Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Reed C. Rollins, except as specified

Annual to subshrub
Leaves generally basal and cauline, alternate, generally simple; stipules 0
Inflorescence: generally raceme
Flower bisexual; sepals 4, free; petals (0)4, free, generally white or yellow, often clawed; stamens generally (2,4)6, generally 4 long, 2 short; ovary 1, superior, chambers generally 2, septum membranous, connecting 2 parietal placentas, style 1, stigma simple or 2-lobed
Fruit: generally capsule ("silique") with 2 deciduous valves, sometimes breaking transversely or indehiscent
Seeds 1–many per chamber
Genera in family: 300+ genera, 3000+ species: worldwide, especially cool regions; some cultivated for food (especially Brassica, Raphanus ) and ornamental
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Capparaceae [Rodman et al. 1993 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 80:686–699; Rollins 1993 Cruciferae of Continental North America. Stanford Univ Press]
Family description, key to genera by Robert A. Price.



Annual, biennial, perennial herb, from taproots, fibrous roots, or tuber-like rhizomes; hairs 0 or simple
Leaves entire or palmately or pinnately lobed to compound; rhizome leaves often present, separate from others
Inflorescence bracted or not
Flower: sepals equal at base; petals white to pink or rose
Fruit linear, generally flat; valves generally opening elastically, sometimes by coiling from base; septum margins intruding on valves
Seeds many, 1 row per chamber, wingless (± margined in C. oligosperma); embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Species in genus: ± 170 species: most temp parts of world
Etymology: (Greek: for a cress with medicinal uses)


C. nuttallii Greene

Perennial, glabrous; rhizome 0.5–3 cm, 2–5 mm thick, ovoid to elongate, whitish
Stem simple, < 2 dm, slender
Leaves: rhizome 1, simple, ± entire to shallowly lobed, or with 3–5 ± palmately arranged leaflets; cauline above, generally 2, petioled, leaflets 2–5, 1–4 cm, ± equal, oblong to oblanceolate, ± sessile, entire
Inflorescence ± umbel-like
Flower conspicuous; petals 1–1.5 cm, pale pink to purple, rarely ± white
Fruit 2–4 cm, 2–2.5 mm wide; pedicels ascending, lower 1–2 cm; style 3–5 mm
Ecology: Generally moist sites, canyons, forest
Elevation: < 2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia
4 vars. total.


var. covilleana (O.E. Schulz) Rollins

Leaves: rhizome leaflets (3–)5, ± subpalmately arranged, rarely 2 below and 3 above, 6–10 mm wide, oblong, ± entire, with 1 prominent vein ending in a sharp tip, round at base
Flower: petals purple or white with purple veins
Ecology: Moist, shaded hillsides, wet, open pine forests
Elevation: 1200–2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: Oregon
Synonyms: Dentaria tenella Pursh var. palmata Detling
Horticultural information: SHD, IRR, DRN: 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17.

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bioregional map for CARDAMINE%20nuttallii%20var.%20covilleana being generated

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