Sisymbrium altissimum L. - Tall Rocket (Tumble Mustard, Tall Hedge Mustard)

Systematic position.

Family Brassicaceae, genus Sisymbrium L.


Sisymbrium pannonicum Jacq., Sisymbrium sinapistrum Crantz.

Biological group.

Annual-biennial plant.

Morphology and biology.

Plant 20-80 cm high, stem coarse, thick, divaricately ramified, with rough simple hairs below, glabrous or almost glabrous at top. Lower leaves petiolate, densely haired, pinnatifid, with broad lanceolate lobes; stalk leaves pinnatisect, with long narrow linear lobes; upper leaves pinnatisect, with narrowly-linear, nearly filiform lobes. Flowers in loose panicle. Sepals glabrous, lanceolate, 4-5 mm in length, with broad transparent margins. Petals pale yellow, nearly white after flowering, 7-9 mm in length. Siliquas long, 5-10 cm, tetrahedral-cylindrical, erect, spread-apart, located on fruiting pedicel of 5-10 mm long. Seeds small, elliptical, angular, somewhat compressed, yellow. Weight of 1,000 seeds 0.1-0.2 g. Germination in March-May and in autumn, autumnal shoots over-wintering. Blossoms in May-July.


Middle and South Europe, Western China, Tibet, the Himalaya, Mediterranean area, Asia Minor, Iran, Mongolia; North America (adventive plant). The European part of the former USSR except the Far North, Crimea, the Caucasus, Western Siberia, Central Asia.


The plant prefers nutrient-rich soils, stands salinization. Shoots emerge at the temperatures 4 to 40°C (optimum is 18-20°C).

Economic significance.

Weed of grain and tilled crops, occurs in fallow lands, kitchen gardens, waste lands, along roads, near habitations. Control measures include correct crop rotation, mowing in waste lands, stubbling, under-winter plowing, autumn tilling, harrowing, presowing soil cultivation, chemical weeding.

Reference citations:

Artokhin, K.S. 2004. Atlas of weed plants. Rostov-na-Donu: Kniga, 144 p. (in Russian).
Bush, N.A., ed. 1939. Flora of the USSR. V. 8. Moscow & Leningrad: AN SSSR, 696 p. (in Russian).
Keller, B.A., ed. 1934. Weed plants of the USSR. V. 3. Leningrad: AN SSSR. 448 p. (in Russian).
Nikitin, V.V. 1983. Weed plants of the USSR flora. Leningrad: Nauka, 454 p. (in Russian).

© Sokolova T.D.

Photo © Laptev A.F.

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