Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Herbs, annual or perennial, or subshrubs, erect, prostrate or spreading, glabrous, or pubescent with simple or branched hairs, sometimes glandular hairy. Leaves entire or bi-or tri-pinnatifid, sessile or the lower petiolate. Flowers small, inconspicuous, usally in elongating ebracteate racemes. Sepals oblique, long or ovate, orbicular, slightly concave, not saccate. Petals up to 3 mm long, scarcely longer than sepals, sometimes lacking or mere vestiges, white, pink or sulphur yellow. Stamens 6, 4 or 2; & filaments free, edentate; anthers nearly orbicular. Ovary sessile, flat, 2-ovuled with distinct short style and capitate stigma. Fruit a silicula, strongly flattened, 2-valved; valves winged, usually rounded or keeled at back, glabrous to hirsute; apex scarcely notched and barely winged to deeply notched and prominently winged; septum narrow. seeds usually 1 or rarely 2 in each locule, pendulous; cotyledons mostly Incumbent.

Nearly cosmopolitan; about 150 species, 10 in India.

Literature. THELLUNG, A. (1907) Die Gattung Lepidium (L.) R. Br. Eine monographische Studie. Mitt. Bot. Mus. Univ. Zurich 28: 1 - 340.


1a. Stamens 6 2
b. Stamens 4 or 2 5
2a. Upper cauline leaves perfoliate 6. Lepidium perfoliatum
b. Upper cauline leaves not perfoliate 3
3a. Fruits 5 - 6 mm long, prominently winged and broadly notched at apex 9. Lepidium sativum
b. Fruits 2 - 3.5 mm long, neither winged not notched at apex 4
4a. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, acute at apex; racemes corymbose; calyx deciduous 4. Lepidium latifolium
b. Leaves oblong, obtuse at base; racemes densely capitate; calyx persistent 5. Lepidium obtusum
5a. Stems glabrous or with a few smooth hairs 6
b. Stems distinctly puberulous 7
6a. Stems usually glabrous; upper cauline leaves oblanceolate or spathulate 7. Lepidium pinnatifidum
b. Stems often with a few unbranched hairs; upper cauline leaves linear 8. Lepidium ruderale
7a. Hairs on stems capitate or glandular 8
b. Hairs on stems terete 9
8a. Herbs erect; hairs capitate; racemes elongated in fruit 2. Lepidium apetalum
b. Herbs procumbent; hairs glandular; racemes capitate in fruit 3. Lepidium capitatum
9a. Petals longer than sepals; pedicels divaricate, straight 10. Lepidium virginicum
b. Petals shorter than sepals; pedicels arcuately patent 1. Lepidium africanum

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