Brassicaceae Family

Family: Brassicaceae

Conserved name: Cruciferae

Popular name: Mustard Family

Taxonomic Position (according to Cronquist)

Kingdom                    : Plantae

Division                      : Magnoliophyta

Class                           : Magnoliopsida

Subclass                      : Dilleniidae

Order                          : Capparales

Family                        : Brassicaceae


Identifying characters of the family

  1. Flower is cruciform shaped
  2. Herb with odorous habit
  3. Watery juice stem
  4. Four sepals, four petals are present
  5. Stamens are six, tetradynamous
  6. Fruit is siliqua

Origin and Distribution

The family Brassicaceae consists of about 350 genera and 3000 species, found mainly in temperate and warm temperate parts of both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The highest concentration of species is in the areas from the periphery of the Mediterranean to Central Asia. In Bangladesh, the family is represented by 12 genera and 24 species.

Brassica nigra


Brassica oleracea


Brassica campestris


Brassica carinata


Brassica juncea


Brassica napus


 Fig. 1 Diagram of the relationship between important Brassica species

Botanical Description of the Family

Habit: Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, sometimes subshrubs or shrubs.

Stem: Stem erect, ascending or prostrate, sometimes absent.

Leaves: Leaves exstipulate, simple, entire or variously pinnately dissected, rarely trifoliolate or pinnately, bipinnately or palmately compound, petiolate.

Inflorescence: Inflorescence racemes, corymbs or panicles.

Flowers: Hypogynous, mostly actinomorphic, hermaphrodite.

Calyx: Sepals 4, in 2 decussate pairs, free or rarely united.

Corolla: Petals 4, alternate with sepals, arranged in the form of a cross (cruciform, hence the earlier family name Cruciferae).

Androecium: Stamens 6, in 2 whorls, tetradynamous, rarely in 3 pairs of unequal length, sometimes stamens 2 or 4, very rarely 8-24.

Gynoecium: Ovary superior, sessile or borne on a distinct gynophore, mostly 2-locular and with a false septum connecting 2 placentae, placentation parietal.

 Fruit: Siliqua or silicula.

 Seeds: Non-endosperm, uniseriately or biseriately arranged in each locule.

Floral formula:       or % ♂♀ K 2+2 C4A2+4 G(2-4)

Floral diagram:


Table 1. Economic Important Plants of Brassicaceae family

Serial Number Bangla Name English Name Scientific Name Plant parts used Usefulness
1 Sorisha Mustard Brassica campestris L. Seed Edible oil


2 Raisarisa Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, brown mustard B. juncea (L.) Czern Seed Edible oil
3 Kalsarisa Black mustard B. nigra Seed Edible oil


4 Fulcopy Cauli flower B. oleracea L.var. botrytis Inflorescence Vegetable
5 Badhacopy Cabbage B. oleracea L. var. capitata Leaf Vegetable
6 Mulla Radish Raphanus sativus L. Root Vegetable


7 Broccoli Broccoli B. oleracea L. var. italica Inflorescence Vegetable
8 Salgom turnip Brassica rapa Root Vegetable


9 Oolkopi Kholrabi/Knolkhol B. oleracea L. var. gongylodes Stem Vegetable


10 China cabbage Kales /China cabbage B. oleracea L. var. acephala Stem Vegetable



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