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Vascular Plants of California
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Streptanthus tortuosus

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: StreptanthusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb, generally +- glaucous; hairs simple or 0. Leaf: basal rosetted or not, petioled, entire or dentate to pinnately lobed or divided; cauline sessile, occasionally petioled, base generally lobed or clasping. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: radial or bilateral; calyx urn- or occasionally bell-shaped, sepals erect, base +- sac-like, keeled or not; petal blade narrower to wider than proximal 1/2, generally channeled, margins +- crinkled or not; stamens in 3 pairs of unequal length, or 4 long and 2 short, longest filaments fused or free. Fruit: silique, dehiscent, linear, flat parallel to septum, unsegmented; stigma entire or 2-lobed. Seed: 10--120, in 1 row, generally winged.
Species In Genus: 35 species: southwestern United States, northern Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: twisted flower, from wavy-margined petals)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Streptanthus tortuosus Kellogg
Habit: Biennial or short-lived perennial herb, glabrous throughout. Stem: (0.5)1.5--12(15) dm, simple or many-branched at base, distally. Leaf: basal +- rosetted, early-deciduous, broadly ovate, obovate or oblong, entire to wavy or dentate distally; mid-cauline sessile, (0.7)1.5--6(9) cm, oblong to obovate or +- round, base lobed to clasping; distal round to oblong-ovate, clasping. Inflorescence: open to dense, 1-sided or not; bracted proximally or between most proximal 1--2 flowers; terminal sterile flower cluster 0. Flower: calyx urn-shaped, sepals 6--10(13) mm, keeled or not, +- purple, gray-green, or +- yellow, tips recurved; petals (6)8--14 mm, 1--2.5 mm wide, not crinkled, +- purple or +- yellow-white, veins generally purple; filaments free, in 3 pairs of unequal length, longest pair (5)7--11 mm; fertile anthers (1.5)2.5--4.5(6) mm. Fruit: recurved-spreading to pendent, (3)4--13(16) cm, 1.5--2.5(3) mm wide, occasionally constricted between seeds; valves glabrous, midvein obscure or +- distinct; stigma entire; pedicel spreading to ascending, (2)3--12(17) mm, expanded at receptacle. Seed: 26--76(110), 1.5--2.5 mm, broadly oblong to ovate or round; wing 0.1--0.5 mm wide at tip, continuous. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Ecology: Generally rocky to sandy soils, in open conifer forest, alpine areas, woodland; Elevation: 200--4100 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaR, SN, n SnFrB, SCoRO; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon, Nevada. Flowering Time: Apr--Sep Note: Highly variable, needs study.
Synonyms: Streptanthus lemmonii S. Watson; Streptanthus tortuosus var. flavescens Jeps.; Streptanthus tortuosus var. orbiculatus (Greene) H.M. Hall; Streptanthus tortuosus var. suffrutescens (Greene) Jeps.; Streptanthus tortuosus var. oblongus Jeps.; Streptanthus tortuosus var. optatus Jeps.; Streptanthus tortuosus var. pallidus Jeps.; Streptanthus tortuosus var. tortuosus; Streptanthus tortuosus var. foliosus (Greene) D.W. Taylor
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 Streptanthus tortuosus

botanical illustration including Streptanthus tortuosus


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Streptanthus tortuosus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 16, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 16, 2022.

Streptanthus tortuosus
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Streptanthus tortuosus
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© 2003 Michael Charters
Streptanthus tortuosus
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Streptanthus tortuosus
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© 2021 Barry Rice
Streptanthus tortuosus
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© 2009 George W. Hartwell
Streptanthus tortuosus
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© 2001 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Streptanthus tortuosus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Streptanthus tortuosus:
KR, NCoR, CaR, SN, n SnFrB, SCoRO
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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).