Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), Gilbert Thomas Burnett, 1835.
Herbs, rarely small shrubs. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, exstipulate. Flowers usually hermaphrodite, hypgynous, with 2 planes of symmetry. Sepals 4, free, in two decussate pairs. Petals 4, free, usually clawed, alternating with the sepals. Stamens usually 6, tetradynamous (i.e. in two whorls, the outer of 2 shorter, the inner of 4 longer stamens), rarely 4 or 2, filaments often winged, appendaged or toothed. Nectaries variously arranged around the bases of the stamens. Ovary synocarpous, of 2 carpels, usually bilocular, divided by a false septum (replum). Fruit a capsule, dehiscing from below by two valves (when clearly more than 3 x longer than broad referred to as a siliqua, when clearly less than 3 x longer than broad referred to as a silicula), rarely lomentoid or indehiscent. Seeds often mucilaginous when wet.
Brassicaceae: As much of taxonomy of the Cruciferae is based on fruit characters, ripe fruits are usually needed for identification. For conveinience, informal groups are used for keying out the genera; in the enumeration, however, the genera are placed in the tribes recognised by Schulz.
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