Barbarea vulgaris W. T. Aiton WINTER-CRESS Barbarea stricta; Barbarea arcuata (Opiz ex J Presl & C Presl) Rchb; Garden yellowrocket; Bittercress; Barbarea arcuata (Opiz ex J Presl & C Presl) Rchb; Barbarea stricta auct non Andrz; Campe barbarea (L) W Wight ex Piper; Campe stricta auct non (Andrz) W Wight ex Piper
- Taprooted biennial forb, or occasionally annual or short-lived perennial.
- Erect, to 1 m, sometimes branching, glabrous, herbaceous, ridged.
Stem and leaf base.
- Alternate, usually glabrous. Lower leaves lyrate, petiolate, to 20 cm long, pinnately divided or lobed. Lobes with coarse shallow teeth or entire. Upper leaves reduced, sessile, clasping, entire or irregularly pinnately lobed and toothed.
- Panicles with often compact racemose branches (rarely reduced to a solitary raceme), the lower branches rarely subtended by reduced leaves, the flowers bractless. Pedicels to 3 mm long, elongating in fruit to 6 mm long, 4-angled, glabrous.
- Sepals 4, erect, greenish-yellow, glabrous, 3-4 mm long, 1-1.5 mm broad, with lighter yellow margins. Petals 4, yellow, free, 5-9 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, truncate at apex, glabrous, tapering and lighter yellow to white at base. Stamens 6, erect. Longer 4 stamens with filaments to 4 mm long. Filaments glabrous, whitish yellow, with glands at base. Anthers yellow, 1.1-1.5 mm broad. Ovary (sub)terete, green, glabrous, 4 mm long. Styles 1.5-3.0 mm long, persistent. Stigma sub-biglobose.
- Siliques glabrous, erect to spreading, 1.5-3.0 cm long, slightly compressed, beaked. Beak to 3 mm long. Seeds 18-24 per fruit, the seeds 1.0-1.5 mm long, circular in outline, oblong in cross-section, somewhat flattened.
. To a lesser extent, certain other members of the mustard family, e.g.
- This is a common plant across the entire state, as well as most of the continental U.S. It is easily recognized by the 4-petaled flowers in the Brassica pattern, and the highly characteristic stem leaves. These are typically lobed near the base, with the central lobe wedge-shaped and widest toward the tip, with a few blunt teeth at the tip. The
photo above is a good example.
This plant can be aggressive and highly abundant in disturbed areas such as fallow crop fields (see photo below). Its strong preference for disturbed ground means that it usually does not badly invade intact natural communities; nevertheless, it should not be deliberately spread. Young leaves of the plant can be eaten cooked or raw.
Photographs taken at Danville Conservation Area, Montgomery County, MO., 4-17-04 (DETenaglia); also at Young Conservation Area, Jefferson County, MO, 4-24-2013 and 5-2-2013, Little Lost Creek Conservation Area, Warren County, MO, 5-12-2013, and Danville Conservation Area, Montgomery County, MO, 5-5-2018 (SRTurner).
Robert H. Mohlenbrock. USDA SCS. 1989.
Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species
. Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln. Provided by USDA NRCS Wetland Science Institute (WSI).
garden yellow rocket
This plant can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of
Weeds of the U.S.
W. T. Aiton in W. Aiton and W. T. Aiton, Hortus Kew. 4: 109. 1812.
Cress, yellow-rocket, cressy-greens
Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 660. 1753;
(Opiz ex C. Presl) Reichenbach;
(Opiz ex C. Presl) Fries;
Opiz ex C. Presl
Biennials or, rarely, perennials;
glabrous throughout or margins ciliate.
petiole (0.5-)2-10(-17) cm; blade lyrate-pinnatifid, (1-)2-8(-10) cm, lobes 1-3(-5) on each side (rarely early ones undivided), lateral lobes oblong or ovate, 0.3-2(-4) cm × 1-8(-15) mm, sometimes slightly fleshy, margins entire, repand, crenate, or dentate, terminal lobe (ovate or suborbicular), (0.7-)1.5-4.5(-7) cm × (4-)10-30(-50) mm, (surfaces glabrous or margins ciliate).
blade ovate or suborbicular (undivided), margins usually coarsely dentate, rarely subentire; conspicuously auriculate, auricles ovate or narrowly oblong (to 10 × 5 mm), glabrous.
divaricate to ascending or erect, 3-7 mm, terete or subquadrangular, thickened (narrower than fruit).
sepals 3-4.5(-5) × 1-1.5 mm, lateral pair slightly saccate basally, margins scarious; petals yellow, spatulate or oblanceolate, (5-)6-9(-10) × 1.5-2.5(-3.5) mm, base attenuate, apex rounded; filaments 3-4.5 mm; anthers 0.7-1.2 mm; ovules 18-24(-28) per ovary; gynophore to 0.5 mm.
erect to erect-ascending, rarely appressed to rachis, torulose, terete, somewhat compressed, or 4-angled, (0.7-)1.5-3 cm × 1.2-2 mm; style slender, (1-)1.5-3(-3.5) mm.
dark brown, plump, broadly ovoid to oblong or subglobose, 1.2-1.5 × 1-1.2 mm.
, which is sometimes grown as a potherb, is highly variable in length and orientation of fruit and fruiting pedicel, style length, and the division of cauline leaves. Several varieties have been recognized, and they represent some of the many points along one continuum. In my opinion, it is better not to recognize any infraspecific taxa in North America.
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