Mustard (Family Brassicaceae)

 

 

Brassicaceae or Cruciferae, also known as the Crucifers, the Mus-

tard Family or Cabbage Family is a family of flowering plants

(Angiosperms). The name Brassicaceae is derived from the includ-

ed Genus Brassica. Cruciferae is an older name, meaning "cross-

bearing", because the four petals of their flowers are reminiscent of

a cross. Both Cruciferae and Brassicaceae are regarded as validly

published, and are thus accepted as names for the family.

 

It contains over 330 genera and about 3,700 species, according to

the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The largest genera are Draba

(365 species), Cardamine (200 species, but its definition is contro-

versial), Erysimum (225 species), Lepidium (230 species) and

Alyssum (195 species.)

 

Many species of family Brassicaceae are edible. The family con-

tains well- known food species such as Brassica oleracea (broccoli,

cabbage, cauliflower, etc.), Brassica rapa (turnip, Chinese cabbage,

etc.), Brassica napus (rapeseed, etc.), Raphanus sativus (common

radish), Armoracia rusticana (horseradish), Matthiola (stock), and

many others.

 

The family is cosmopolitan, but is concentrated in the northern tem-

perate regions and reaches maximal diversity around the Mediterra-

nean area.

 

 

Back to Inventory of Herb/Forb Families and Species

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