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ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

Many species of Brassicaceae are important vegetable crops, including varieties of Brassica oleracea Linnaeus (e.g., broccoli [var. italica Plenck], Brussels sprouts [var. gemmifera (de Candolle) Zenk], cabbage [var. capitata Linnaeus], cauliflower [var. botrytis Linnaeus], collard and kale [var. acephala de Candolle], and kohlrabi [var. gongylodes Linnaeus]), B. rapa Linnaeus (turnip, Chinese cabbage), B. napus Linnaeus (rape), Raphanus sativus Linnaeus (radish), Eruca vesicaria (Linnaeus) Cavara (arugula), and Nasturtium officinale W. T. Aiton (watercress). Other minor vegetable crops include cress (Lepidium sativum Linnaeus) and the Peruvian maca (L. meyenii Walpers). Seed oils of various Brassica species, including canola(extracted from B. napus) and both Indian mustard (B. juncea (Linnaeus) Czernajew) and B. rapa, rank first in terms of the world’s tonnage production. The family also includes several condiments, such as horseradish (roots of Armoracia rusticana Gaertner, Meyer & Scherbius), wasabi (rhizomes of Eutrema wasabi (Siebold) Maximowicz), and table mustard (ground seeds of Sinapis alba Linnaeus and often B. juncea). Many species are garden ornamentals, including stock (Matthiola incana Linnaeus), sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima (Linnaeus) Desvaux), candytuft (Iberis Linnaeus spp.), wallflower (Erysimum cheiri (Linnaeus) Wettstein), rock cress (Arabis Linnaeus spp.), honesty or money plant (Lunaria Linnaeus spp.), and dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis Linnaeus). Finally, there are over 130 weedy species of mustards, of which 100 spp. are naturalized in the United States, including shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris (Linnaeus) Medikus), the second most common weed on Earth.

 
 
 
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