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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 8 | Brassicaceae

10. Lepidium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 643. 1753.

独行菜属 du xing cai shu

Lepidium chalepense

Credit: Photo: Al-Shehbaz

Herbs annual, biennial, or perennial, sometimes subshrubs, rarely shrubs or climbers. Trichomes absent or simple. Stems erect or ascending, sometimes creeping, simple or branched basally and/or apically. Basal leaves rosulate or not, simple, entire or pinnately dissected. Cauline leaves petiolate or sessile, base cuneate, attenuate, auriculate, sagittate, or amplexicaul, margin entire, dentate, or dissected. Racemes ebracteate, corymbose, elongated or not in fruit. Fruiting pedicels terete, flattened, or winged, erect or divaricate. Sepals ovate or oblong, rarely orbicular, base of lateral pair not saccate. Petals white, yellow, or pink, erect or spreading, sometimes rudimentary or absent; blade obovate, spatulate, oblong, oblanceolate, orbicular, linear, or filiform, apex obtuse, rounded, or emarginate; claw absent or distinct. Stamens 2 and median, sometimes 6 and tetradynamous or subequal in length, rarely 4 and all median or 2 median and 2 lateral; anthers ovate or oblong. Nectar glands 4 or 6, distinct; median glands always present. Ovules 2 per ovary; placentation apical. Fruit dehiscent silicles, oblong, ovate, obovate, cordate, obcordate, elliptic, or orbicular, strongly angustiseptate; valves veinless or prominently veined, keeled or not, apically winged or wingless; replum rounded; septum complete or perforated, membranous; style absent, obsolete, or distinct, included or exserted from apical notch of fruit; stigma capitate, entire or rarely 2-lobed. Seeds 1 per locule, winged, margined, or wingless, oblong or ovate, plump or flattened; seed coat smooth, minutely reticulate, or papillate, usually copiously mucilaginous when wetted; cotyledons incumbent, rarely accumbent or diplecolobal.

About 180 species: all continents except Antarctica; 16 species (two endemic, two introduced) in China.

1 Cauline leaves sessile, amplexicaul, sagittate, or auriculate at base.   (2)
+ Cauline leaves petiolate or subsessile, cuneate or obtuse at base, if subauriculate then plants with capitate or clavate papillae.   (5)
2 (1) Flowers yellow; upper leaves amplexicaul-perfoliate, basal leaves 2- or 3-pinnatisect; seeds winged all around   10 L. perfoliatum
+ Flowers white; upper leaves auriculate or sagittate, basal leaves entire, dentate, or pinnatifid; seeds wingless.   (3)
3 (2) Annuals or biennials, usually densely long pubescent; fruit wings united with lower part of style; leaves herbaceous   1 L. campestre
+ Perennials, glabrous, papillate, or crisped hairy; fruit wings free from style; leaves leathery.   (4)
4 (3) Basal and lowermost cauline leaves pinnatifid, upper ones subentire; plants glabrous   3 L. cordatum
+ All leaves entire; plants with curved papillate trichomes   4 L. cartilagineum
5 (1) Stamens 6; stems glabrous or pubescent with long trichomes (puberulent in L. alashanicum).   (6)
+ Stamens 4 or 2; stems puberulent with clavate or capitate papillae, sometimes with minute trichomes.   (11)
6 (5) Petals absent; plants puberulent with subclavate papillate trichomes; all leaves linear, entire, margin involute   9 L. alashanicum
+ Petals well developed; plants glabrous or pilose with slender trichomes; leaves variously-shaped, at least some pinnatifid, pinnatisect, dentate, or serrate, margin flat.   (7)
7 (6) Annuals; fruit (4-)5-6 mm, winged all around, broadly so apically; all or at least lower leaves 1- or 2-pinnatisect or -pinnatifid; cotyledons 3-lobed   2 L. sativum
+ Perennials; fruit 1.5-3 mm, wingless or only apically winged; leaves entire, serrate, or dentate; cotyledons entire.   (8)
8 (7) Sepals persistent in fruit; fruit cordate at base   7 L. obtusum
+ Sepals deciduous shortly after anthesis; fruit cuneate, obtuse, or rounded at base.   (9)
9 (8) Basal and lowermost cauline leaves pinnatifid or lyrate, with oblong or linear lateral lobes much smaller than terminal one; style (0.2-)0.3-0.4(-0.5) mm, distinctly exserted from apical notch   8 L. lacerum
+ Basal and lowermost leaves dentate, serrate, or subentire; style absent, obsolete, or rarely to 0.1 mm.   (10)
10 (9) Uppermost cauline leaves sessile or subsessile, leathery; fruit not carinate; seeds (0.8-)1-1.3 mm   6 L. latifolium
+ Uppermost cauline leaves shortly petiolate, papery; fruit carinate; seeds 1.5-2.2 mm   5 L. ferganense
11 (5) Stamens 4; style longer than and exserted from apical notch of fruit   11 L. cuneiforme
+ Stamens 2; style shorter than and included within apical notch of fruit.   (12)
12 (11) Fruit orbicular; upper stems and rachis puberulent with curved minute trichomes; cotyledons accumbent   13 L. virginicum
+ Fruit elliptic, ovate, or obovate; upper stems and rachis puberulent with straight or clavate papillae; cotyledon incumbent.   (13)
13 (12) Middle and upper cauline leaves usually pinnatifid; infructescences capitate; petals 0.5-1 mm   12 L. capitatum
+ Middle and upper cauline leaves dentate, serrate, or entire; infructescences elongated racemes; petals absent or rudimentary.   (14)
14 (13) Basal leaves 2- or 3-pinnatisect; pedicels puberulent all around with slender trichomes; herbs fetid   14 L. ruderale
+ Basal leaves 1-pinnatifid or serrate; pedicel papillate only adaxially; herbs not fetid.   (15)
15 (14) Fruit broadly obovate, widest above middle; raceme papillae terete or subclavate   15 L. densiflorum
+ Fruit elliptic, widest at middle; raceme papillae clavate or capitate   16 L. apetalum

  • List of lower taxa


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