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 NumberBangla NameEnglish NameScientific NamePlant parts usedUsefulness
1SorishaMustardBrassica campestris L.SeedEdible oil


2RaisarisaIndian mustard, Chinese mustard, brown mustardB. juncea (L.) CzernSeedEdible oil
3KalsarisaBlack mustardB. nigraSeedEdible oil


4FulcopyCauli flowerB. oleracea L.var. botrytisInflorescenceVegetable
5BadhacopyCabbageB. oleracea L. var. capitataLeafVegetable
6MullaRadishRaphanus sativus L.RootVegetable


7BroccoliBroccoliB. oleracea L. var. italicaInflorescenceVegetable
8SalgomturnipBrassica rapaRootVegetable


9OolkopiKholrabi/KnolkholB. oleracea L. var. gongylodesStemVegetable


10China cabbageKales /China cabbageB. oleracea L. var. acephalaStemVegetable



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