Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
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; hairs simple
Leaves simple, petioled, ± ovate, dentate
Inflorescence: bracts 0 or subtending lower flowers, leaf-like
Flower: sepals erect, inner pair sac-like at base; petals long-clawed, bluish or lilac to purplish, rarely white; stamens 6
Fruit widely elliptic to round, very flat parallel to septum, long-stalked above receptacle; valves falling; style ± beak-like
Seeds 2 rows per chamber, very flat, winged; stalks fused to septum; embryonic root at edges of both cotyledons
Species in genus: 3 species: Eur
Etymology: (Latin: moon, from shiny septum)


L. annua L.

Annual, biennial
Stem 5–10 dm, branched
Leaves: basal clustered; lower cauline petioled, upper sessile, blades 4–10 cm, bases cordate or reniform to rounded, upper clasping stem
Flower: petals ± 2 cm, bluish purple
Fruit 3.5–4.5 cm, oblong-ovate to ± round; stalk above receptacle 7–12 mm; style 6–8 mm, beak-like
Seeds 3–5 per chamber, (5)7–9 mm wide
Ecology: Disturbed areas, roadsides, urban areas
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: native to Europe

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