Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, glabrous, sparsely hirsute or hispid; rootstock slender or tuberous. Leaves alternate petiolate or sessile, often amplexicaul, lower sometimes rosulate, pinnatifid or lyrate rarely entire. Racemes usually short, corymbose. Flowers yellow or white. Sepals subequal, erect or spreading, inner larger, usually pouched. Petals yellow or white, clawed. Stamens 6. Ovary cylindrical, 5 - 45-ovuled; style distinct; stigma capitate or 2-lobed. Fruit a siliqua with long or short seedless or 1 - 2-seeded narrow beak, linear or oblong terete or angular; valves convex with prominent median vein. Seeds few to many, uniseriate or rarely biseriate (in some extra-Indian species).

Mostly Mediterranean; about 40 species, 6 in India.

Notes. Most of the species are cultivated, as these include many vegetables and oil seed plants. There is considerable confusion regarding the identity and nomendature of several species and infraspecific taxa.


1a. Upper leaves stalked or narrowed at base 2
b. Upper leaves usually amplexicaul, rounded or deeply cordate at base 4
2a. Beak of fruits 10 - 15 mm long 6. Brassica tournefortii
b. Beak of fruits 4 - 10 mm long 3
3a. Beak of fruits 4 mm long 3. Brassica nigra
b. Beak of fruits 5 - 10 mm long 1. Brassica juncea
4a All leaves glabrous 4. Brassica oleracea
b. Lower leaves always bristly or ciliately hairy 5
5a. All leaves glaucous 2. Brassica napus
b. Lower leaves usually green, not glaucous 5. Brassica rapa

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