Ontario Weeds: Wormseed
Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- For more information...
Name: Wormseed mustard, Erysimum
Other Names: ERYCH, vélar fausse
giroflée, Treacle mustard, vélar giroflée
Family: Mustard Family (Cruciferae)
General Description: Annual or winter
annual, reproducing only by seed. It is distinguished from other
mustards by its slender leaves which do not clasp the stem, the
2-branched hairs on the stems and 3-branched hairs on leaves which
can be seen with magnification, a slightly bluish-green cast to
leaves and stems, the small, pale yellow flowers, and the slender,
angular seedpods about 2 cm (4/5 in.) long which are tipped with
a short blunt beak.
Photos and Pictures
A. plant beginning ot flower. B. elongating inflorescences with
Wormseed mustard. A.
Plane. B. Seedling. C. Young plant.
Stems & Roots: Stems
15 - 100 cm (6 - 40 in.) high, erect, usually branched, firm, apparently
hairless but slightly rough due to tiny, flat-lying, 2-branched
hairs; leaves alternate (1 per node), nearly linear or broader near
the middle and tapering to both ends, without teeth or with a few
wavy or slightly pointed teeth, slightly rough on both surfaces
with tiny 3-branched hairs.
Flowers & Fruit: Flowers similar
to those of Wild mustard but paler yellow and much smaller, about
6 mm (¼ in.) across and crowded in clusters at the ends of
the stems and branches, these lengthening as the pods begin to develop;
seedpods on slender stalks about 1 cm (2/5 in.) long which stand
out from the stem, the pod itself standing upwards or nearly parallel
to the stem, 15-25 mm (3/5-1 in.) long, usually somewhat 4-angled
in cross-section and tipped by a short blunt beak; seeds dull reddish-yellow,
very small, about 1 mm (1/25 in.) long and usually less than half
as wide. Flowers from mid-June to late autumn and sheds mature seeds
soon after flowering begins; plants often turning purplish at maturity.
Habitat: Wormseed mustard is common
throughout Ontario, growing in a very wide variety of habitats from
dry, rocky, shallow soils to moist sandy shores, to rich loam and
clays, and is found in grainfields, hay and pastureland, waste places,
gardens, poorly kept lawns, roadsides and railways, riversides,
sandy beaches and limestone talus.
Caution: Every effort should be made to
prevent Wormseed mustard from going to seed in fields of oats or
barley where these cereal grains may be used for feeding pigs. Seeds
of Wormseed mustard have an extremely bitter taste, and when feed
is contaminated by a very small fraction of a percentage of Wormseed
mustard seeds, pigs will refuse to eat it. Apparently cattle and
horses can tolerate larger proportions of Wormseed mustard than
For more information...
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA
Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA
Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control
...on weeds in field crops, contact Mike Cowbrough (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Weed Management Specialist (Field Crops), OMAFRA
...on weeds in horticultural crops, contact Kristen Callow(email@example.com),
Weed Management Specialist (Hort Crops), OMAFRA
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