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Brassicaceae: Characters, Distribution and Common Species

Brassicaceae: Characters, Distribution and Common Species


General Characteristics


1. Habit


Seasonal or perennial herbs, Biennial, Annual.

2. Roots


Fibrous or tuberous taproots.

3. Stem


Woody or solid, Herbaceous, Aerial, Cylindrical.

4. Leaves


Generally, leaves are covered by simple or branched hairs. Simple, Alternate, Petiolate, Exstipulate, Reticulate venation.

5. Inflorescence


Simple racemose, it becomes corymbose raceme.

6. Flower


Hypogynous ( Ovary is superior ), Hermaphrodite ( Both male and female sex organs are present on the same plant), complete, regular, actinomorphic ( cut from any axis ), ebracteate, pedicellate.

7. Calyx (Sepals)


4 calyx or sepals, green, free, dimerous ( Placed in two whorls ).

8. Corolla (Petals)


4 petals or corolla, arranged in a single whorl.

9. Stamens/Androceium


6 stamens, free,

Tetradynamous


Two lateral stamens are smaller but four median stamens are larger.

Basifixed, nectaries are present at the base of stamens.

10. Carpel/Gynasium/ Pistel


2 carpel or gymnasium, compound ovary, ovary unilocular but become bilocular due to formation of the false septum.

11. Fruits


Silicula or Siliqua.


12. Seed


Non~endospermic seed.

Floral Formula



Floral Diagram


Economic importance


1. Ornamental Plants


Many plants of this family are used for ornamental purposes. Like wallflower (Cherianthus Cheiri),  Candytuft ( Iberis Imara).

2. Medicinal Plants


Some plants of this family are used as medicines like Lepidium Sativum, Sisymbrium Irio.

3. Condiments


Some plants of this family are used as condiments. Like Brassica Alba and Brassica Nigra.

4. Extraction of oil


Some plants of this family are used for the extraction of vegetable oil. I.e. Mustard Plant ( Brassica campestris) , Juncea, Eruca.

5. Vegetables


The roots, leaves, and fruits of many plants of Mustard family are used as vegetables. E.g. Brassica Napus (Turnip) , Brassica Oleracea (Cabbage), Raphanus Sativus (Radish), etc.

6. Fodder


Leaves, roots, and stems of Mustard family are used as fodder. Oil cake is obtained by crushing the seeds. It is given to cattle as fodder.

Weeds


Some plants of the Mustard family act as a weed.

Distribution pattern


Brassicaceae is a large family. It has about 200 genera and 2000 species. They are mostly found in the temperate zone. Some species are also found in tropical areas.

Common species


1. Brassica compestris (Mustard)

2. Brassica Napus (Turnip)

3. Brassica oleracea (Cabbage)

4. Raphanus Stivus (Raddish)

5. Iberis Amara (Candytuft)

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