Berteroa incana (L.) DC.

Berteroa incana plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - Multiple from the base, erect to ascending, herbaceous, mostly unbranched (except at apex), to 1m tall, scabrous from dense forked and stellate pubescence.

Berteroa incana stemStem.

Leaves - Alternate, sessile. Blades linear-elliptic, entire, 5-8cm long, +/-1cm broad, rounded to subacute at apex, stellate pubescent above and below, reduced upward on stem.

Inflorescence - Terminal and lateral racemes to +/-25cm long. Racemes dense in flower, quickly elongating in fruit. Pedicels ascending, to 7-8mm long, stellate and forked pubescent.

Berteroa incana inflorescenceInflorescence.

Flowers - Petals 4, 5-7mm long, deeply notched at apex, tapering at base, glabrous. Lobes rounded to acute at apex. Stamens 6, erect, glabrous, white, 3-4mm long. Anthers yellow, to 1mm long. Ovary superior, green, densely stellate pubescent, 1mm long in flower. Style green, to 2mm long, sparse stellate pubescent, persistent in fruit. Sepals 4, erect, densely stellate pubescent externally, glabrous internally, 3-4mm long, to 1mm broad, with scarious margins, elliptic, acute. Silicle 6-7mm long, elliptic-ovate to orbicular, stellate pubescent, beaked, with 6-10 seeds. Beak to 2mm long.

Berteroa incana flowers

Berteroa incana fruitFruit.

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Roadsides, railroads, waste ground.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This striking species is rare in Missouri but is becoming more common. The plant is very common in more northern states and is spreading throughout much of eastern North America. The plant is easy to ID in the field because of its deeply divided white petals and gray stellate pubescence.

Photographs taken in Marquette, MI., 7-25-02.