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Vascular Plants of California
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Hesperis matronalis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
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.
Genus: HesperisView Description 

Common Name: ROCKET
Habit: Biennial, perennial herb; hairs simple, stalked-forked, generally mixed with some stalked glands. Leaf: generally rosetted, entire to dentate or lobed; cauline petioled or sessile [base occasionally lobed or clasping stem]. Inflorescence: elongated; bracts 0 [throughout]. Flower: sepals erect, inner pair sac-like at base; petals white to purple, yellow, brown, or green, clawed. Fruit: silique, linear, cylindric to 4-sided or flat parallel to septum, late-dehiscent, unsegmented; valves 1--3-veined; stigma deeply 2-lobed. Seed: 4--40, in 1 row; wing 0.
Species In Genus: 25 species: Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: evening, when some flowers are most fragrant)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Hesperis matronalis L.
Habit: Biennial (perennial herb). Stem: 4--8(11) dm; hairs simple and forked at least proximally; glands generally 0. Leaf: basal and proximal cauline (2)4--15(20) cm, 0.8--4(6) cm wide, oblong to lanceolate or obovate, entire or minutely dentate; distal cauline petioled or +- sessile, base not lobed. Flower: sepals 5--8 mm; petals (1.3)1.5--2(2.2) cm, 3.5--9 mm wide, purple, rose, or white; claw 6--12 mm. Fruit: (4)6--10(14) cm, 2--2.5 mm wide, +- cylindric, constricted between seeds; pedicel spreading to ascending, (0.5)0.7--1.7(2.5) cm. Seed: (2.5)3--4 mm, oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Ecology: Roadsides, slopes, woodland; Elevation: 700--2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR (Trinity Co.), n SNH (Plumas Co.); Distribution Outside California: Canada, United States; native to Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Hesperis matronalis

botanical illustration including Hesperis matronalis


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Hesperis matronalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=28024, accessed on February 25, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 25, 2020.

No expert verified images found for Hesperis matronalis.

Geographic subdivisions for Hesperis matronalis:
KR (Trinity Co.), n SNH (Plumas Co.)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).