Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Annual or perennial, glabrous or hairy, dwarf herbs or undershrubs with simple or branched, angular, leafy stems. Leaves simple, somewhat fleshy, linear or broader, entire or dentate to pinnatifid; radical leaves petioled; cauline sessile. Flowers in ebracteate corymbs or racemes, elongating in fruits; pedicels filiform, horizontal or horizontal-ascending. Sepals oblique, erect, with wide membranous margins, not saccate. Petals white, rose, red or violet, outer two larger, obovate, shortly clawed, 2 outer usually larger than inner. Fruit an angustiseptate silicula, ovate, bilocular,often notched at apex; valves boat-shaped, netted-veined, keeled, winged at apex; style distinct; stigma capitate sometimes bilobed. Seed 1 in each locule, ovate, often winged; cotyledons accumbent.

Chiefly in the Mediterranean region; about 40 species, 4 in India, commonly grown as popular garden plants.


1a. Perennials, usually with non-flowering rosettes; leaves persistent 3. Iberis sempervirens
b. Annuals, without non-flowering rosettes; leaves mostly deciduous 2
2a. Flowers rose-coloured, in umbellate racemes 4. Iberis umbellata
b. Flowers white, in elongating racemes 3
3a. Siliculae in racemes; lobes of pod erect 1. Iberis amara
b. Siliculae in corymos; lobes of pod spreading, divergent 2. Iberis odorata

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