Ontario Weeds: Hedge mustard

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication


Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Leaves
  7. Flowers and Fruit
  8. Habitat
  9. Similar Species
  10. Related Links

Name: Hedge mustard, Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop.,

Other Names: sisymbre officinal, herbe au chantre

Family: Mustard Family (Cruciferae)

General Description: Annual or winter annual, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Hedge mustard.

Hedge mustard. A. Base of plant.

Hedge mustard. A. Base of plant.

Hedge mustard. B. Flowering branch

Hedge mustard. B. Flowering branch Stems & Roots: Stems erect, 30-90cm (1-3ft) high, branched.

Leaves: Rosette leaves with a definite stalk, divided into several, irregularly toothed, narrow segments on each side and 1 larger angular or roundish terminal segment, middle and upper leaves smaller, short-stalked or stalkless, less divided or with no lobes along the side, alternate (1 per node), the whole plant often with a gray-green appearance.

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers resembling but much smaller than Wild mustard, bright yellow, about 3mm (1/8in.) wide, in tight clusters at tips of stems and branches; stalks of seedpods very short (1.5mm, 1/16in.), at first thin, becoming thicker with age; seedpods closely pressed to the stem, 1-1.5cm (2/5-3/5in.) long, about 1.5mm (1/16in.) wide at the base and tapering towards the slender, seedless beak (d) at the tip, smooth or usually somewhat short-hairy; seeds angular, grayish-brown. Flowers from June to August.

Habitat: Hedge mustard occurs throughout southern Ontario, and in a few localities in the north and northwest, being most common in waste places, gardens and edges of fields and only occasionally appearing as a weed in grainfields.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by the large terminal segment of the divided leaf, short tapering pods on very short stalks closely pressed to the stem, and the plant frequently having a gray-green appearance.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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