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Isatis tinctoria02.JPG
Isatis tinctoria
Scientific classification


About 30 species, including:
Isatis boissieriana
Isatis glauca
Isatis tinctoria
others (see text)

  • Boreava Jaub. & Spach
  • Pachypterygium Bunge
  • Sameraria Desv.
  • Tauscheria Fisch. ex DC.[1]

Isatis is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Brassicaceae, native to the Mediterranean region east to central Asia. The genus includes woad (Isatis tinctoria). Due to their extremely variable morphology, the Asian species in particular are difficult to determine; the only reliable diagnostic feature is the ripe fruit. They are (usually) biennial or perennial herbaceous plants, often bluish and hairless or downy hairy with the upright stem branched.[2]


They are annual, biennial or perennial, branched herbs, usually glabrous and glaucous except silicon. Basal leaves generally elliptic-oblong, sessile; sessile caulinary, rounded to oval-oblong.

The hermaphrodite flowers are fourfold double perianth. The four sepals are ascending to upright. The four yellow to off-white or lilac-white petals are at least as long as the sepals. They have six stamens with very small, egg-shaped or elongated-round anthers. There are nectar glands. Racemose is branched or paniculated, ebracted, inflorescence, often reaching lax and elongated in the fruit.

The fruit is a generally linear silicon, oblong-cuneate to suborbicular, indehiscent, flattened laterally, unilocular, little to conspicuously winged, glabrous or with tiny hairs.[3]


Below is a list of the species of the genus Isatis accepted until October 2014 , arranged alphabetically. For each one the binomial name is indicated followed by the author , abbreviated according to the conventions and uses.[4]


  1. ^ USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: (19 October 2014)
  2. ^ H. Moazzeni et al .: Phylogeny of Isatis (Brassicaceae) and allied genera based on ITS sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA and morphological characters. In: Flora (Elsevier) , Volume 205, 2010, pp. 337–343.
  3. ^ Flora of North America Editorial Committee, e. 2010. Magnoliophyta: Salicaceae to Brassicaceae. Fl. N. Amer. 7: i – xxii, 1–797.
  4. ^ Nasir, E. & SI Ali (eds). 1980-2005. Fl. Pakistan University of Karachi, Karachi.