Herbs with odorous, water juice, annuals, biennials, and perennials

Leaves alternate, simple, often dissected, stipules absent

Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, usually in racemes

Androecium of 6 stamens, 4 long and 2 short

Corolla of 4 petals arranged in a cross, hence Cruciferae

Fruit a silique (long) or a silicle (short) - modified capsule dehiscing by 2 lateral valves having a central septum (replum)

350 genera, 3000 species

Brassicaceae is a sharply defined and readibly recognized family, however, genera are ill-defined

Economic importance

Brassica - brussel sprouts, broccoli, mustard, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi, kale

Raphanus -radish

some ornamentals and weeds (escaped Brassica)

Diagnostic characteristics: herbs, infl. a raceme, stamens 4+2, fruit a silicle or silique