(Brassicaceae) A large dicotyledonous family, commonly called the mustard family, members of which occur predominantly in north temperate latitudes. It contains about 3000 species in about 375 genera. Most cruciferous plants are herbs with alternate leaves and four-petalled flowers borne in a raceme or corymb. The petals are inserted in the shape of a cross (cruciform), hence the name of the family. The fruit is also characteristic (see siliqua
Many crucifers are important crop plants. Cultivars of Brassica oleracea include the cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprout, while other species include the turnips, swedes, and oilseed rape. Ornamental crucifers include the wallflower (Cheiranthus cheiri), honesty (Lunaria annua), and stocks (Matthiola).