Herbs biennial, or perennial. Trichomes unicellular, simple and/or forked, these often mixed with glandular ones with a unicellular gland on a few-celled, uniseriate stalk. Stems erect, often simple. Basal leaves petiolate, usually rosulate, entire, dentate, or pinnately divided. Cauline leaves petiolate or sessile, similar to basal, sometimes auriculate or amplexicaul at base. Racemes bracteate or ebracteate, elongated in fruit. Fruiting pedicels slender or thickened, divaricate or reflexed. Sepals oblong or linear, erect, base of lateral pair strongly saccate. Petals white, lavender, purple, yellow, orange, brownish, or green, much longer than sepals; blade obovate or oblong, apex rounded or obtuse; claw strongly differentiated. Stamens 6, strongly tetradynamous; anthers oblong or linear, obtuse at apex. Nectar glands 2, lateral, ringlike or lunar; median glands absent. Ovules 4-40 per ovary. Fruit tardily dehiscent siliques, linear, terete, 4-angled, or slightly latiseptate, sessile; valves with a prominent midvein, torulose; replum rounded; septum complete, membranous; style obsolete or short; stigma conical, 2-lobed, lobes prominent, connivent or free, decurrent. Seeds uniseriate, wingless, oblong, plump; seed coat reticulate, not mucilaginous when wetted; cotyledons incumbent.
Plants with caudex; not scapose; pubescent or glabrous, trichomes simple and/or forked, often mixed with unicellular glands on uniseriate stalks. Stems erect, unbranched or branched. Leaves basal and cauline; petiolate [sessile]; basal rosulate [not rosulate], blade margins entire, dentate, or pinnatifid; cauline similar to basal. Racemes (corymbose), considerably elongated in fruit. Fruiting pedicels divaricate or ascending [reflexed], slender or stout. Flowers: sepals oblong [linear], (sometimes connivent), lateral pair strongly saccate basally, (pubescent or glabrous); petals obovate [oblong], (much longer than sepals), claw distinctly differentiated from blade, (apex rounded [obtuse]); stamens strongly tetradynamous; filaments (erect), slender or dilated basally; anthers linear [oblong], (apex obtuse); nectar glands (2), lateral, annular or lunar. Fruits tardily dehiscent, sessile, linear, torulose; valves each with prominent midvein, glabrous; replum rounded; septum complete; ovules 4-40 per ovary; style obsolete or distinct (relatively short); stigma conical (lobes prominent, connivent or distinct, decurrent). Seeds plump, not winged, oblong; seed coat (reticulate), not mucilaginous when wetted; cotyledons incumbent.
"Sep erect, the outer narrow, crested to near the summit, the inner broad, saccate at base; pet purple to white, the blade obovate, the claw surpassing the cal; short stamens subtended by a U-shaped gland; long stamens glandless; anthers linear-oblong; ovary cylindric; style scarcely narrower; stigma 2-lobed, decurrent along the style; ovules numerous; frs widely spreading on stout pedicels, linear, terete or nearly so, scarcely dehiscent; stigma persistent; valves indistinctly 1-nerved; seeds large (3–4 mm), angularly fusiform, in one row; tall biennial or perennial herbs with showy fls; pubescence of both simple and branched hairs. 25, Eurasia."
SELECTED REFERENCES Dvoák, F. 1966. A contribution to the study of the evolution of Hesperis series Matronales Cvl. emend. Dvoák. Feddes Repert. 73: 94-99. Dvoák, F. 1973. Infrageneric classification of Hesperis. Feddes Repert. 84: 259-272.
|[Greek hesperos, evening, alluding to time when flowers of some species are most fragrant]|