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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 650. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: About 100 species, mostly in the Mediterranean region, C. Europe and C. and W. Asia; only 10 species are recorded from our area.


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Annual to perennial herbs, often small and with decumbent branches, clothed with short stellate hairs, sometimes heterotrichous, often lepidote. Leaves simple, often linear, entire, without persistent swollen bases. Racemes ebracteate, simple or branched, usually slightly elongating in fruit. Flowers small, yellow, sometimes whitish. Sepals not saccate at base, erect, generally free. Petals slightly to about twice as long as the sepals, narrowly spathulate-oblong; apex often slightly emarginate. Stamens 6; filaments winged (on one side or both) or wingless; anthers short, blunt. Lateral nectar glands in pairs, small, often triangular; middle absent. Ovary sub-orbicular to elliptic, bilocular, 1-8 (mostly 2) ovuled in each locule; style often short with short subbilobed stigma. Siliculae sub-orbicular, broadly ovate or elliptic, bilocular, dehiscent, rarely subdehiscent or indehiscent; valves often tumid with a very narrow flattened margin (sometimes compressed and without a flattened margin), apex slightly emarginate or entire; septum broad, membranous, not veined; seeds on lateral or nearly apical placenta, often very narrowly winged, suborbicular, ± compressed.

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1 Siliculae flat or plane-compressed, 4-6 (-8) ovules in each locule (2)
+ Siliculae biconvex, or with tumid valves, 2 ovules in each locule (3)
2 (1) Siliculae glabrous Alyssum linifolium
+ Siliculae densely papillose or pilose Alyssum heterotrichum
3 (1) Annual herbs; style less than 2.5 mm long (4)
+ rennial, caespitose herbs; style 2.5-5 mm long Alyssum lanceolatum
4 (3) Valves glabrous (5)
+ Valves pubescent (with stellate hairs) (6)
5 (4) Siliculae ± obovate, 4-5.5 mm long, 4-6.5 mm broad Alyssum homalocarpum
+ Siliculae orbicular, c. 3.5 mm in diam Alyssum desertorum
6 (4) Style inconspicuous, less than 1 mm long; stamen filaments ± appendaged (7)
+ Style conspicuous (about half as long as the siliculae), 1.5-2 mm long; stamen filaments not appendaged Alyssum dasycarpum
7 (6) Siliculae orbicular, 3-5 mm in diam.; branches leafy throughout (9)
+ Siliculae ± ovate or subovate, slightly longer than broad, usually 3.5-4.5 mm long; branches often leafy above only, giving an involucrate appearance to inflorescence or infructescence (8)
8 (7) Siliculae slightly retuse at apex with style almost absent or hardly 0.2 mm long; seeds not margined; petals hardly or not emarginate Alyssum marginatum
+ Siliculae entire or obscurely retuse at apex, with style c. 0.5-1 mm long; seeds margined; petals conspicuously emarginate
9 (7) Siliculae 4-5 mm in diam.; style 1-2 mm long; pedicels horizontal or deflexed Alyssum stapfii
+ Siliculae c. 3 mm in diam.; style c.0.5 mm long; pedicels subspreading or ascending Alyssum turkestanicum
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