Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)/Mustard family : Morphological Diversity

Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)/Mustard family : Morphological Diversity

    The Brassicaceae are predominately herbacious and only rarely are under shrubs.

Class- Dicotyledonae

        Subclass– Polypetalae

          Series– Thalamiflorae

            Order– Parietales

               Family- Brassicaceae

  • Brassicaceae Include about 375 genera and 3200 species distributed widely in north temperate regions of the world
    -in India- 51 genera and 138 species
    Familiar plants :
    Brassica campestris (sarson)
    Raphanus sativus (radish)
    Brassica rapa(turnip)
    B. oleracea var. botrytis (cauliflower)
    B.oleracea var. capitata (cabbage)
    B. juncea( Indian mustard, Rai)
    Coronopus didymus

Family Description of Brassicaceae


Includes 375 genera and 3000 species distributes widely in north temperate regions.

Selected Indian Genera- Brassica, Capsella, Raphanus, Iberis, Coronopus.


Annual or perennial herbs, rarely shrubby having smelling watery juice. Perrennial herb with pungent watery sap, herbaceaous covered with unicellular stellate hair.

Corolla- cruciform

Stamen- tetradynamous

Fruit- siliqua or silicula

  •  Annual (Brassica campestris, Coronopus)
  • biennial (Raphanus sativus, Brassica rapa) or perenial herbs
  • Rarely shrubs
  • Produce pungent watery juice rich in sulphur

Root :

• Tap root. Some gets swollen for food storage and become;

• Fusiform (Radish) • Napiform (Turnip)

Stem :


• Erect

• Cylindrical

• Often reduced (radish, turnip)


• Simple

• Sessile

• Often dissected

• Cauline and ramal

• Alternate (rarely opposite)

• Exstipulate


• Typically racemose

• Corymb in Iberis


  • Ebracteate ,ebrateolate
  • Pedicellate
  • Complete
  • Hermaphrodite
  • Cyclic
  • Actinomorphic (zygo in Iberis)
  • Tetramerous
  • Hypogynous


  • Sepals 4
  • Polysepalous
  • Arranged in 2 whorls of each


  • Petals 4
  • Polypetalous
  • Cruciform
  • Alternate with sepals
  • Clawed
  • Petals reduced or scaly (Coronopus)


  • Stamens 6, in 2 whorls 2+4 (2 in coronopusdidymus)
  • Polyanderous
  • Tetradynamous
  • Anthers  usually  
  • Dithecous —Introse


  • Bicarpellary
  • Syncarpous
  • Ovary superior
  • Unilocular but become bilocular due to false septum
  • Parietal placentation
  • Ovules many style 1

Fruit and seed

Siliqua or silicula

Floweral forumula

Brassica compestris

Habit:  Herbaceous, annual.

Root:   Tap Root system.

Stem:   Herbaceous , erect, cylindrical, solid, hairy (pubescent).

Leaf:     Ramal and Cauline, simple, alternate, exstipulate, petiolate, margin incised, hairy, unicostate, reticulate venation.

Brassica, mustard

Inflorescence: Raceme.

Flower: Ebracteate, pedicillate, actinomorphic, bisexual, complete, hypogynous and tetramerous.

Calyx: sepals 4, polysepalous, imbricate aestivation.

Corolla: petals 4, polypetalous, cruciform, clawed, aestivation valvate.

Androecium: Stamens 6,arranged in two whorls, outer two shorter, inner 4 stamens longer (Tetradynamous), anther bicelled, basifixed, introse.

Gynoecium: Bicarpellary, syncarpous, ovary superior unilocular becomes bilocular due to the develpoment of false septum, placentation parietal, style short, stigma simple or bifid.

f;ower of Brassicaceae

Fruit : Siliqua.

Floral formula :

To know more about the Ranunculaceae : Morphological Diversity Of Families : Dicotyledons

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