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Brassicaceae: Mustard Family

The mustard family is made up of 3000 species in 350 genera (Carr). Maximum diversity for this species centers around the Mediterranean and most species are found in the Northern Hemisphere. Another name for this family, which is also acceptable is Cruciferae. Modern botanists have switched to Brassicaceae but since Cruciferae was so widely published it is one of the few plant families where both names can be used. Cruciferae refers to the cross-like nature of the flowers, one of the easiest ways to identify this family.

Members of the species Brassica oleracea have been selectively bred for different traits resulting in the foods we know as broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

Brassicaceae

Systematics: The perianth consists of 4 sepals, 4 petals (often clawed) and 6 stamen (4 long and 2 short). Leaves opposite, sometimes in basal rosettes.


Specimens List
e

Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)

Domesticated versions include: broccoli, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cabbage, califlower, kale and collard greens.



Floral Diagram

e

Turnips (Brassica rapa)

Other foods from this species are Chinese cabbage, Kok Choy, Rapini, Tatsoi and Aburana.

e

Black Mustard (Brassica nigra)

This is the plant that is commonly used as a spice to make our modern mustards.


Selected Species photos:

Wild Musard - Brassica kaber sea rocket Shephard's Purse

Links to more information

 

 
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