Perennials; (often loosely pulvinate or cespitose, caudex many-branched); not scapose; pubescent, trichomes stellate, short-stalked or sessile, mixed with coarser, stalked, forked, and simple ones. Stems erect to decumbent, branched basally, (slender). Leaves basal and cauline; petiolate or sessile [subsessile]; basal rosulate, petiolate, blade margins entire or dentate; cauline petiolate or sessile [subsessile], blade (base not auriculate), margins entire or dentate. Racemes (few- to several-flowered), elongated in fruit. Fruiting pedicels erect to divaricate, slender. Flowers: sepals erect, oblong, lateral pair saccate basally, (glabrous or pubescent); petals usually purple to violet, rarely white [pink], obovate [spatulate], (apex obtuse); stamens tetradynamous; filaments narrowly winged, (lateral pair with toothed appendage); anthers oblong [ovate]; nectar glands lateral, semi-annular, extrastaminal. Fruits siliques or, rarely, silicles, sessile, ellipsoid, [linear, oblong, or elliptic], not torulose, terete or latiseptate; valves each with distinct midvein, pubescent or, rarely, glabrous; replum rounded; septum usually complete, sometimes perforate; ovules 10–40 per ovary; (style persistent); stigma capitate. Seeds biseriate, flattened, not winged, ovoid [elliptical]; seed coat not mucilaginous when wetted; cotyledons accumbent.
Introduced; Calif., Europe, sw Asia, nw Africa.
Species 15 (1 in the flora).
Aubrieta is taxonomically challenging and is centered primarily in Greece and Turkey. The delimitation of species is often difficult, possibly because species have resulted from hybridization.