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Weed Identification

hedgemustard

Family

Brassicaceae

Scientific Name

Sisymbrium offcinale

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Erysimum officinale

Habit

Seedlings have club-shaped cotyledons. Mature plants first produce a basal rosette then flowering stems reaching 30 cm to 1 m tall. Root is made up of a slender branching taproot.

Leaves

Leaves are pinnately lobed with deeply toothed margins. Both sides of the leaves are covered with bristly hairs and the end of the leaf has the largest segment.

Identifying Characteristics

Yellow flower petals are less than 3 mm long and fruit less than 1.5 cm long.

Flower Seed Head

Clusters of yellow flowers on the ends of long flower stems appear June through September. Flowers have 4 petals 1 to 2.5 mm long.

Seed Fruit

Fruit is awl shaped measuring less than 1.5 cm in length with 2 compartments containing 20 seeds each. Seeds 1-1.5 mm long, are egg or triangle shaped and reddish brown in color.

Where Found

Across most of the United States this species prefers dry loamy, sandy, or stony soils. Nursery, horticultural and agricultural crops are all home to hedge mustard.

Growth Habit

upright and nonwoody

Thorns or Spines

not present

Approximate Flower Diameter

pencil

Dominant Flower Color

Varies: 
white
yellow

Flower Symmetry

bilateral symmetry

Leaf Hairs

Varies: 
no hairs
has hairs

Leaf Shape

Varies: 
lance
oval
triangle

Leaf Arrangement

Varies: 
alternate
rosette

Leaf Margin

lobed

Leaf Structure

pinnate

Leaf Stalk

Varies: 
none
shorter than leaf

Stem Hairs

has hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Root Structure

taproot

Life Cycle

winter annual

Plant Type

Herb