Scientific Name: Arabidopsis thaliana

Common Name: mouseear cress

Other Common Names: arabidopsis

Synonyms: Arabis thaliana, Sisymbrium thalianum

Habit: winter annual herb

Leaves: The leaves are mostly basal and are more or less oblong and finely toothed. The few leaves that do occur along the stem are alternate, lack a leaf stalk, and are most often entire (no serration on margins). The leaves are hairy.

Identifying Characteristics: This species is a winter annual and grows to be quite small (7-10 inches tall). Most of the leaves are found in a basal rosette at the base of the plant. Both the leaves and stems are covered in hairs. Stems are mostly unbranched and terminate in a raceme. Flowers are small and white with four petals. The fruits are long (1/2 inch long) and thin. This species may look similar to rockcress and whitlow-grass species, but the fruits of mouseear cress are much thinner than either of these other two species.

Flower Seed Head: Raceme with clusters of white flowers.

Seed Fruit: Fruit is a long, thin silique. Inside each silique there is a single row of tiny seeds.

Where Found: Common in cultivated fields and waste areas.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Brassicaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rosette; alternate

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire; serrated

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: white

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: fibrous; taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; none