Erophila vulgaris DC.
Annual herb, very variable in stature and size, 3-10 (-25) cm tall, erect or suberect, ± hairy below with short, branched (almost stellate) rarely simple hairs and glabrous above. Basal leaves rosulate, very variable, lanceolate to obovate-oblong, entire to 1-2-dentate, hairy, conspicuously so at the margins, acute. Scapes aphyllous (rarely 1-leaved), Racemes 10-20-flowered, often lax, flexuose in fruit. Flowers small, c. 2.5 mm across, white rarely turning pinkish; pedicels usually up to 6 mm long in fruit, rarely 10-15 mm long, filliform, ascending, glabrous. Sepals 1.5-2 mm long. Petals 2.5-3.5 mm long, deeply bifid at the apex. Stamens c. 1.5: 2 mm long. Siliculae oblong-elliptic to suborbicular, (3-) 5-8 (-10) mm long, (1.5-) 2-3 (-4) mm broad, very variable, glabrous; valves faintly veined; stigma minute, depressed, sessile; septum not veined; seeds many, very small, c. 0.5 mm long.
Fl. Per.: March June.
Type: Described from Europe, Herb. Linn. no. 823/7 (LINN).
Distribution: Europe and Asia, N. Africa; introduced in N. America.
A very polymorphic species, primarily due to the existence of many ‘obligately self-pollinated pure lines' (Heslop-Harrison, New Concepts Fl. Pl. Tax. 46. 1953).
Erophila praecox (Sweet) DC. and Erophila spathulata Lang recorded by Schulz (in Engler, l.c.) and R. R. Stewart (l.c. 313) from Chitral and Kashmir respectively, do not seem to be different from this species. However, the whole complex needs a critical study with enough material from our area. It seems to be under collected here. However, Coode & Cullen (in Davis l.c. 421) recognized them as subspecies of E. verna, following Walters (in Fedde, Repert. 69:57. 1964).