Various Genera
Mustard Family (Brassicaceae/Cruciferae)

There are hundreds of plants in the Mustard Family, but they all follow a particular pattern. All have four petals, four sepals, and six stamens (4 tall and 2 shorter ones). The plants shown on this page have very tiny blossoms that grow in clusters at the top of the plant. The plants grow taller as their seed pods ripen -- more flowers bloom at the top while ripe seed pods can be seen below, along the stem.

Alyssum plants

(Alyssum minus)

Yellow blossoms. Flattened oval-shaped seed pods about one fourth inch long, with a tiny point on the end.


(Descurainia sophia)

Yellow blossoms. Seed pods are long and thin, almost like needles. They point upward from the stem.


(Lepidium perfoliatum)

Also known as "peppergrass", although the plant is not related to the grasses.

Yellow blossoms. Small oval seed pods. Leaves on the upper part of the plant almost surround the stem, so that the stem appears to grow through the centers of perforated leaves.

Shepherds purse

Shepherd's Purse
(Capsella bursa-pastorus)

White blossoms. Seed pods shaped like tiny flattened hearts (or like old-fashioned money bags).