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Brassicaceae Burnett, 1835 nom. cons.
the mustard family
The family takes its name from one of its genera, Brassica. An older name of the family, Cruciferae, means ‘cross-bearing’, describing the four petals of the flowers arranged in the form of a cross. The family consists mostly of herbaceous plants with peppery-flavoured leaves. The flowers have 4 petals, usually white, yellow or lavender, and 4 sepals. There are 4 long and 2 short stamens, and a 2-chambered superior ovary. The seeds are produced in pod-like fruits and often have a mucilaginous coating that swells when it becomes wet. The family includes many of our most popular vegetables, some of them developed in ancient cultures.
Eruca vesicaria - Rocket
Lepidium bonariense - Argentine Peppercress
Raphanus sativus - Radish
Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus - Daikon
Sisymbrium officinale - Wild Rocket
Photograph ©2006 Hubert Derus , via Wikimedia Commons
Page last updated 5th October 2014