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Vascular Plants of California
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Lepidium densiflorum

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: LepidiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb (shrub); hairs 0 or simple. Leaf: basal rosetted or not, petioled, entire, dentate, to 1--3-pinnately lobed; cauline short-petioled to sessile, base occasionally lobed to clasping. Inflorescence: elongated or congested. Flower: sepals erect or spreading, oblong to ovate, base not sac-like; petals linear to obovate, white or yellow (pink or purple), occasionally reduced or 0; stamens 2, 4, or 6. Fruit: silicle, generally dehiscent, oblong to ovate, obcordate, or round (spectacle-shaped), flat perpendicular to septum (inflated), unsegmented. Seed: 2(4), gelatinous when wet; wing narrow or 0.
Species In Genus: 220 species: all continents except Antarctica. Etymology: (Greek: little scale, from fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz et al. 2002 Novon 12:5--11
Unabridged Reference: Hitchcock 1936 Madroño 3:265--300
Lepidium densiflorum Schrad.
Habit: Annual, biennial, puberulent or glabrous. Stem: erect, generally 1, (1)2.5--5(6.5) dm, branched distally. Leaf: (1.5)2.5--8(11) cm, oblanceolate, spoon-shaped, or oblong, serrate or pinnately lobed, early-deciduous; mid-cauline petioled, (0.7)1.3--6.2(8) cm, (0.5)1.5--10(18) mm wide, narrowly oblanceolate or linear, tapered at base, not lobed, entire or dentate. Inflorescence: much-elongated, rachis glabrous or puberulent, hairs club-shaped. Flower: sepals 0.5--0.8(1) mm; petals 0 or thread-like, 0.3--0.9 mm, white; stamens 2. Fruit: (2)2.5--3(3.5) mm, 1.5--2.5(3) mm wide, obovate, flat, tip winged, notch 0.2--0.4 mm; valves not veined, glabrous or puberulent; pedicel (1.5)2--3.5(4) mm, cylindric, spreading to +- ascending, puberulent adaxially. Seed: 1--1.3 mm, ovate.
Ecology: Fields, pastures, meadows, disturbed sites, floodplains, chaparral; Elevation: < 3500 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, CaR, n&c SNH, GV, SCo, GB, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: North America; naturalized in Europe, Asia, South America. Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: Highly variable.
Synonyms: Lepidium densiflorum var. elongatum (Rydb.) Thell.; Lepidium densiflorum var. macrocarpum G.A. Mulligan; Lepidium densiflorum var. pubicarpum (A. Nelson) Thell.; Lepidium densiflorum var. ramosum (A. Nelson) Thell.
Unabridged Note: Divided into varieties based on continuous characters of dubious value that generally do not correspond with geog.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Al-Shehbaz et al. 2002 Novon 12:5--11
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Lepidium densiflorum

botanical illustration including Lepidium densiflorum


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Lepidium densiflorum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=30526, accessed on February 24, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 24, 2021.

Lepidium densiflorum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Lepidium densiflorum
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Lepidium densiflorum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Lepidium densiflorum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Keir Morse
Lepidium densiflorum
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Lepidium densiflorum
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson

More photos of Lepidium densiflorum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Lepidium densiflorum:
KR, CaR, n&c SNH, GV, SCo, GB, 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).


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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).