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Vascular Plants of California
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Tropidocarpum gracile

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: TropidocarpumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual; hairs simple, or stalked-forked. Stem: prostrate to erect, branched at least distally. Leaf: basal not rosetted; proximal cauline deeply pinnately lobed, lateral lobes entire to dentate or lobed; distal short-petioled to sessile, less divided, not basally lobed. Inflorescence: bracted. Flower: sepals oblong, erect to ascending, base not sac-like; petals obovate to oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, yellow or occasionally tinged purple, short-clawed. Fruit: silique, linear to oblong, or obconic silicle, dehiscent, unsegmented, flat perpendicular to septum (or septum 0); valves 2 or 4. Seed: 4--70, 1 or 4 rows per chamber; wing 0.
Etymology: (Greek: keeled fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz 2003 Novon 13:392--395
Tropidocarpum gracile Hook.
Stem: (0.4)1--4.5(6) dm. Leaf: blade (1.5)2.5--10(15) cm; lateral lobes entire to dentate or pinnately lobed, pairs 3--8(12). Flower: sepals 2.5--4 mm; petals 3--6 mm, 1.5--4 mm wide, yellow, occasionally tinged purple. Fruit: silique, linear, (2.5)3--6(7) cm, 1.5--2(3) mm wide, length 13--46 × > width; valves 2; style (0.3)0.5--2.5(4) mm; pedicels erect to ascending, (4)6--17(35) mm. Seed: 30--70, 1.2--1.6 mm, oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=16.
Ecology: Common. Grassy banks, open fields, roadsides, pastures; Elevation: < 1450 m. Bioregional Distribution: s NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, SNF, Teh, GV, CW, SW, w DMoj; Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--May
Synonyms: Tropidocarpum gracile var. dubium (Davidson) Jeps.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz 2003 Novon 13:392--395
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Tropidocarpum gracilebotanical illustration including Tropidocarpum gracile

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Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Tropidocarpum gracile, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 14, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 14, 2024.

Tropidocarpum gracile
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©2008 Keir Morse
Tropidocarpum gracile
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©2014 Steve Matson
Tropidocarpum gracile
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©2022 Neal Kramer
Tropidocarpum gracile
click for image enlargement
©2014 Steve Matson
Tropidocarpum gracile
click for image enlargement
©2022 Neal Kramer

More photos of Tropidocarpum gracile
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Tropidocarpum gracile:
s NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, SNF, Teh, GV, CW, SW, w 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 occurrence).


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 Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

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).