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Key to Brassicaceae

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1 Plants in flower
1 Plants in fruit.

Key to Brassicaceae, Key A: plants in flower, trichomes of plant absent or, if present, unbranched

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1 Flowers (all, or at least many) solitary on scapes
1 Flowers in racemes.
..2 Flowers yellow.
......4 Upper stems glaucous.
........5 Petals 6-30 mm long, clawed
........5 Petals 2-4 mm long, not clawed
......4 Upper stems green.
..........6 Stems angular distally; blooming Apr to early Jun
..........6 Stems not angular distally; blooming Apr to Oct
....3 Leaves not clasping at base.
............ 7 Petals with contrasting dark yellow, brown, maroon, or purple veins; [tribe Brassiceae]
............ ..8 Petals yellow; basal leaves with 3-10 lobes per margin; stems usually sparsely to densely hispid basally; cauline leaf blades usually lobed (but fewer than basal leaves)
............ ..8 Petals yellow or creamy white; basal leaves with 1-4 lobes per margin; stems sparsely to densely pubescent; cauline leaf blades often undivided
............ 7 Petals mostly uniform in color.
............ ....9 Ovaries and young fruits 2-segmented; petals 5-30 mm long; [tribe Brassiceae]
............ ........11 Valves of the fruit 1-veined; sepals erect or ascending (rarely spreading); terminal segment of fruit conic, usually seedless
............ ........11 Valves of the fruit 3-7-veined (1-veined in Rhamphospermum nigrum); sepals spreading to reflexed; terminal segment of fruit either linear or ensiform (flattened and 2-edged).
............ ..........12 Terminal segment of fruit linear 0.1-1.6 cm long, seedless or 1-seeded.
............ ..........12 Terminal segment of fruit ensiform (flattened and 2-edged), (1-) 1.5-2.5 (-3) cm long, seedless
............ ....9 Ovaries and young fruits unsegmented; petals 1-8 mm long.
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence leafy bracteate (most of the pedicels subtended by bracts)
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence not bracteate (occasionally with some lower pedicels bearing bracts).
............ ............ ..14 Stigmas distinctly 2-lobed; [tribe Sisymbrieae]
............ ............ ..14 Stigmas entire, rarely indistinctly 2-lobed; [tribe Cardamineae]
..2 Flowers white, cream, pinkish, purple, lavender, or blue.
............ ............ ....15 Leaves strictly basal, or both basal and cauline and also auriculate.
............ ............ ......16 Plants with only basal leaves or cauline leaves much reduced.
............ ............ ........17 Plants annual; flowers zygomorphic; petals 0.5-2.5 mm long; [tribe Iberideae]
............ ............ ........17 Plants annual or perennial; flowers actinomorphic; petals absent, rudimentary, or to 16 mm long; [tribe Cardamineae]
............ ............ ......16 Plants with some well-developed cauline leaves.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Ovules 2 (rarely 4) per ovary; [tribe Lepidieae]
............ ............ ............ ....21 Leaves mostly entire; plants not fetid; [tribe Noccaeeae]
............ ............ ............ ......22 Plants aquatic or semi-aquatic; rooting at nodes; [tribe Cardamineae]
............ ............ ............ ......22 Plants terrestrial, though sometimes growing partially submerged; not rooting at nodes.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Flowers blue, rarely pink or white; petals 12-32 mm long; [tribe Brassiceae]
............ ............ ............ ........23 Flowers white, sometimes pink or purple; petals <16 mm long.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Petals larger, conspicuous, 7-16 mm long.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Cauline leaves simple or pinnately to palmately compound, typically not auriculate; if simple and auriculate, then plants usually with a mix of compound and simple cauline leaves and the simple leaves ovate or oblong and never deeply pinnatifid (as in C. clematitis)
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Cauline leaves conspicuously or slightly auriculate, always simple; blades elliptic, lanceolate, ovate, or oblong, deeply pinnatifid to entire
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Petals smaller, inconspicuous, < 7 mm long.
............ ............ ....15 Leaves basal and cauline but not auriculate (basal leaves sometimes withering upon flowering, thus only appearing alternate).
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Plants aquatic, rooting at nodes; [tribe Cardamineae].
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Plants terrestrial, though sometimes growing partially submersed; not rooting at nodes.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Petals 15-30 mm long; fruit conspicuously coin-like, oblong to suborbicular and latiseptate (flattened parallel to septum); [tribe Lunarieae]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Petals rarely to 20 mm long; fruit ovate to linear (if rounded not strongly flattened like a coin, or if flattened the fruit long and slender as in Warea).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Inflorescence corymbose; claws (of the petals) strongly differentiated from blades; fruit latiseptate and stipitate, linear in shape; [natives of sandhills and coastal plain, NC to s. MS]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Inflorescence elongate or corymbose (if so, not also collectively as above); claws differentiated or not from blades; fruit terete, latiseptate, or augustiseptate (flattened perpindicular to septum), stipate or not, linear to ovate in shape; [widespread natives and non-natives]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....39 Leaves not smelling of garlic, rarely reniform or cordate, with margins various.

Key to Brassicaceae, Key B: plants in flower, trichomes of plant present with some or most or all branched

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1 Flowers yellow.
..2 Trichomes sessile, medifixed; [tribe Erysimeae]
..2 Trichomes not sessile and medifixed.
....3 Leaves 2-3× pinnately dissected; [tribe Descurainieae]
......4 Cauline leaves not auricled; [tribe Alysseae]
......4 Cauline leaves auricled; [tribe Camelineae].
........5 Annual; petals yellow to pale yellow, fading whitish
........5 Perennial or biennial; petals creamy or pale yellow
1 Flowers white, pinkish, lavender, or blue.
..........6 Leaves only basal; [tribe Arabideae]
..........6 Leaves cauline (and often basal as well).
............ 7 Ovaries and young fruits not linear (instead pyriform, obovoid, obdeltoid, depressed globose, elliptic or otherwise not strictly linear throughout).
............ ..8 Cauline leaves sessile and auriculate; [tribe Camelineae].
............ ....9 Petals pale yellow, fading to whitish
............ ........11 Leaves 2-3× pinnately dissected; [tribe Descurainieae]
............ ..........12 Ovules 1-2 per ovary; plants usually canescent (bearing a fine grayish-white pubescence); [tribe Alysseae]
............ ..........12 Ovules 4 or more per ovary (2-10 in Lobularia); plants green, not obviously canescent (or only slightly in Lobularia).
............ ............ 13 Plants not scapose or with rosulate basal leaves, leaves cauline and usually abundant throughout the stems; larger plants often suffruticose; [tribe Malcolmieae]
............ ............ 13 Plants scapose, thus without cauline leaves (D. verna) OR strongly rosulate with well-spaced cauline leaves; plants herbaceous (D. ramosissima); [tribe Arabideae]
............ 7 Ovaries and young fruits linear.
............ ............ ....15 Young fruits ascending to descending; [tribe Boechereae]
............ ............ ......16 Stems pubescent or less commonly glabrous above, not glaucous; [tribe Arabideae]
............ ............ ........17 Stigmas 2-lobed, petals > 15 mm long; [tribe Hesperideae]
............ ............ ........17 Stigmas entire, petals < 6 mm long.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Sepals 1-2.5 mm; of disturbed habitats; seeds uniseriate; [tribe Camelineae]
............ ............ ............ ..20 Sepals 0.7-1.2 mm or >2.5 mm; of disturbed and natural habitats; seeds biseriate; [tribe Arabideae]

Key to Brassicaceae, Key C: plants in fruit, trichomes of plant absent or, if present, unbranched

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1 Fruits silicles (< 3× as long as wide).
..2 Fruits 2-segmented
....3 Plants succulent, leaves usually fleshy
....3 Plants herbaceous, not succulent, leaves not fleshy
..2 Fruits unsegmented.
......4 Fruits 2 cm or more wide
......4 Fruits < 2 cm wide.
........5 Fruits with 20 or more seeds
........5 Fruits with 16 or fewer seeds.
..........6 Fruits with 1 seed.
............ 7 Plants > 5 dm tall
..........6 Fruits with 2-16 seeds.
............ ..8 Fruits with 2 seeds
............ ..8 Fruits with more than 2 seeds.
............ ......10 Stems 5-12 (-20) dm tall; leaf blades of basal leaves (3-) 5-12 (-17) cm long
............ ......10 Stems 0.5-1.5 (-2) dm tall; leaf blades of basal leaves 0.3-1.5 (-2) cm long
............ ........11 Plants not fetid; seeds usually smooth, yellowish to medium brown
............ ........11 Plants fetid; seeds striate or alveolate, dark gray to dark brown or black
1 Fruits siliques (> 3× as long as wide).
............ ..........12 Fruits indehiscent or breaking into 1-seeded segments.
............ ............ 13 Fruits not segmented, 1-seeded
............ ............ 13 Fruits segmented, usually more than 1-seeded.
............ ............ ..14 Styles 1-5 mm; plants pubescent; [inland]
............ ..........12 Fruits dehiscent, more than 1-seeded.
............ ............ ......16 Cauline leaf blade bases auriculate (except B. juncea); terminal silique segment seedless (rarely 1-2-seeded), conic
............ ............ ......16 Cauline leaf blade bases not auriculate; terminal silique segment 1-5-seeded (sometimes 0).
............ ............ ........17 Fruit valves 3-7-veined.
............ ............ ..........18 Valves of the fruit 3-5 (-7) veined.
............ ............ ............ 19 Terminal segment of fruit linear 0.1-1.6 cm long, seedless or 1-seeded.
............ ............ ............ 19 Terminal segment of fruit ensiform (flattened and 2-edged), (1-) 1.5-2.5 (-3) cm long, seedless
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruits (all, or at least some) solitary, borne on scapes
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruits in racemes (or corymbose clusters).
............ ............ ............ ....21 Fruits latiseptate (flattened parallel to the septum).
............ ............ ............ ......22 Replums strongly flattened; fruit valves dehiscing elastically, coiled
............ ............ ............ ......22 Replums terete or rounded; fruit valves not dehiscing elastically or coiled.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Fruit stipitate; cauline leaves entire, not auriculate; flowers pink to purple (or white in Warea carteri), [natives of sandhills and coastal plain, NC to s. MS]
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Fruit sessile or short-stipitate; cauline leaves usually lobed or at least dentate, the bases auriculate or somewhat clasping; flowers yellow; [non-natives, widespread]
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Plants terrestrial, though rarely growing partially submersed; not rooting at nodes.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Fresh leaves not smelling of garlic when crush, rarely reniform or cordate, dentate or not.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Cauline leaves spaced, not concealing stem, spreading to slightly ascending; petals 7-12 mm long
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Cauline leaves usually ascendant and concealing stems (at least basally); petals 2-5 mm long (except for 5-10 mm long in B. missouriensis)
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Basal leaves usually withered by flowering; cauline leaf lobes entire to lyrately lobed; usually petals white to pink; [native of riparian habitats]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Basal leaves usually present at flowering or after; cauline leaves with linear, filiform, lyrate, or runcinate lobes (occasionally unlobed, but if so then leaves usually linear or otherwise thin); petals yellow; [non-natives of various habitats]

Key to Brassicaceae, Key D: plants in fruit, trichomes of plant present with some or most or all branched

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1 Fruits silicles (<3× as long as wide).
..2 Leaves basal only
..2 Plant with some cauline leaves.
....3 Cauline leaves sessile; blade bases auriculate, sagittate, or amplexicaulous.
......4 Fruits narrowly pyriform to pyriform or broadly obovoid
..........6 Fruits with 1-2 seeds
............ 7 Plants canescent (grayish-green pubescent) throughout; plants herbaceous
............ 7 Plants green, not canescent throughout (sometimes sparsely pubescent, especially distally, but not uniformly canescent); larger plants often suffruticose
..........6 Fruits with 4 or more seeds.
............ ..8 Seeds winged or margined
............ ..8 Seeds without differentiated margin
............ ....9 Plants with basal leaves strongly rosulate
............ ....9 Plants without strong basal leaf rosette, instead leaves cauline
1 Fruits siliques (> 3× as long as wide).
............ ......10 Plant with some cauline leaves.
............ ............ 13 Siliques straight, slightly ascending to strictly erect or appressed; seeds 0.6-1.7 mm long; basal leaves < 8 cm long
............ ............ 13 Siliques curved or straight, ascending to descending, seeds either <1mm long or < 2.5 mm long, basal leaves 2.5-20 cm long
............ ............ ..14 Trichomes not sessile and medifixed.
............ ............ ......16 Stigmas entire and capitate, rarely slightly 2-lobed.
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