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, perennial herb, generally grayish; hairs dense, multibranched, rarely also simple or glandular
Stems 1–few, branched
Leaves simple, entire to dentate
Flower: sepals erect, inner pair sac-like at base; petals long-clawed; filaments often expanded at base, appendages 0; stigma with a deep, decurrent lobe above each valve
Fruit linear, cylindric or ± flat
Seeds 1 row per chamber, winged
Species in genus: ± 50 species: Eur, Africa, Asia
Etymology: (P.A. Matthioli, Italian physician, botanist, 1500–1577)


M. incana (L.) R. Br.

Perennial; base often woody
Stem erect, < 8 dm
Leaf linear-oblong to oblanceolate, thickish, ± entire; tip rounded
Flower fragrant; sepals 9–15 mm; petals 2–2.6 cm, reddish to violet, rarely white
Fruit < 15 cm, ± flat, ± narrowed between seeds; style < 4 mm, stigma with short horns or bumps or not
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Sandy areas, beaches, ocean bluffs
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: s North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast
Distribution outside California: Mexico; native to Europe

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