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Brassicaceae or Cruciferae

Brassicaceae or Cruciferae

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Brassicaceae or Cruciferae

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  1. BrassicaceaeorCruciferae “The Mustard Family” By Levi Eggermont

  2. Brassicaceae • Contains 348 genera and over 3000 taxa. • Most taxa of the Brassicaceae share a suite of glycosinolate compounds knows as 'mustard oils' that produce the pungent odor that one associates with 'cole' crops, such as cabbage and broccoli, and this can be useful for family recognition.

  3. Brassicaceae Notes • However, the floral structure of this large and diverse family is quite distinctive, as are the fruits. • The perianth is biseriate with each whorl, the calyx and corolla, four-parted with no connation. Considered four-merous. 

  4. Brassicaceae notes • The petals are usually positioned opposite one another and, on face view, the corolla forms a cross ('Cruciferae' = 'cross former').  • The stamens are often tetradynamous (six stamens, two shorter than others) and the fruit is a bilocular capsule that appears to be derived, like other floral whorls, from a four-parted ancestry that followed an evolutionary path similar to that depicted (redrawn from G. H. M. Lawrence, Taxonomy of Vascular Plants) below:

  5. Brassicaceae notes • Whatever the specific process, the resulting gynoecium of the Brassicaceae is bilocular with an unusal septum - the replum - that is probably derived from ancestral carpels. 

  6. Brassicaceae notes • The replum is an excellent key character for the family because it tends to remain attached to the pedicel after fruit dehiscence.  • Many taxa of the family also show a common inflorescence type, a standard raceme.

  7. Cardamine concatenata Cut-leaved toothwort

  8. Distribution of Cardamine concatenata

  9. Alliariapetiolata

  10. Distribution of Allariapetilata

  11. Sources • http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=display&classid=Brassicaceae • http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/family.pl?166 • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassicaceae • http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CACO26 • http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/herbaceous/garlicmustard.html • http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/garlicmustard.shtml • Vascular Plant Taxonomy 4th Edition, Dirk R. Walters, David J. Keil. P. 238 • Manuel of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, Gleason and Chronquist. 1991. P. 191