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Vascular Plants of California
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Hirschfeldia incana

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: HirschfeldiaView Description 


Etymology: (C.C.L. Hirschfeldt, Austrian horticulturist, 1742--1792) Note: Generic status uncertain, possibly best included in Erucastrum or expanded Brassica.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Hirschfeldia incana (L.) Lagr.-Fossat
Habit: Annual to perennial herb; hairs simple. Stem: (2)4--15(20) dm, hairs reflexed. Leaf: basal rosetted, pinnately lobed, (3)5--25(40) cm, obovate to lanceolate; lateral lobes 1--6(9) pairs; cauline dentate to pinnately lobed, petioled or sessile, base not lobed. Inflorescence: much elongated. Flower: sepals spreading to reflexed, base not sac-like; petals obovate, yellow, clawed. Fruit: silique, dehiscent, erect, appressed, 0.7--1.5(1.7) cm, 1--1.7 mm wide, cylindric, segmented, glabrous (sparsely hairy); valves obscurely 3(7)-veined; terminal segment 3--6 mm, 1--2-seeded; pedicel erect, 2--4(5) mm, stout. Seed: 10--22, in 1 row, 0.9--1.5 mm, ovoid; wing 0. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR, NCoRI, CaR, SNF, GV, CW, SCo, PR, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: Oregon, Nevada; native to Mediterranean. Flowering Time: Apr--Oct
Unabridged Synonyms: Brassica geniculata (Desf.) Benth.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Hirschfeldia incana
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Hirschfeldia incana

botanical illustration including Hirschfeldia incana

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Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Hirschfeldia incana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 03, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 03, 2024.

Hirschfeldia incana
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©2009 Thomas Stoughton
Hirschfeldia incana
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©2008 Thomas Stoughton
Hirschfeldia incana
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©2008 Keir Morse
Hirschfeldia incana
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©2008 Keir Morse
Hirschfeldia incana
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©2016 Barry Breckling

More photos of Hirschfeldia incana
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Hirschfeldia incana:
NCo, KR, NCoRI, CaR, SNF, GV, CW, SCo, PR, DMoj
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
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).