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rock cress), a genus of annual and perennial herbs of the family Cruciferae. The plants have entire leaves, and their flowers are usually white, pink, or lilac. The fruit is a silique. There are more than 100 species, distributed mainly in the temperate belt of the northern hemisphere and in the mountains of tropical Africa. The USSR has approximately 40 species, which grow primarily in the mountains, along dry slopes, and in dry meadows, steppes, and the tundra. The wall rock cress (A. caucasica) and some other species are nectiferous. A number of species, such as the mountain rock cress (A. alpina) and the wall rock cress, are raised as ornamentals.