Sisymbrium officinale L. - Hedge Mustard

Systematic position.

Family Brassicaceae Burnett., genus Sisymbrium L.


Erysimum officinale L., Velarum officinale (L.) Reichb.

Biological group.

Annual weed.

Morphology and biology.

Plant is 15-60 in height, with straight divaricately branched stem, covered with fine thick and longer coarse hairs. Lower leaves are petiolate, pinnatisect; with ovate-oblong, irregularly dentate, slightly backward directed lateral lobes; and with larger, almost lanceolate upper lobe. Upper leaves are lanceolate or almost hastate, small, sessile. Flowers are small, situated on short peduncles, clustered on tips of stem and branches in narrow, almost spiciform racemes elongating at fruiting. Petals are yellow, 1.5 times longer than sepals, obovoid, narrowed into long claw, equal to lamina. Fruits are pods, subulate, gradually narrowed toward the tip, densely covered with small hairs, pressed to the inflorescence axis together with short and thick fruit stalks. Seeds are reddish-brown, roundish-quadrangular, angular, slightly oblate, finely tuberous. S. officinale flowers in June-July, bears fruits the beginning of August. Maximum productivity is 2,700 seeds.


Scandinavia, Middle and Atlantic Europe, Asia Minor, North America, Australia. Within the Former Soviet Union, the plant occurs in the European part (except the Far North), the Caucasus, Western and Eastern Siberia, the south of the Far East.


S. officinale grows under the conditions of the sufficient moisture. It is undemanding to the soil type. This plant stands partial shading. It is a frost-resistant plant.

Economic significance.

S. officinale is a widely distributed weed plant of forest and forest-steppe zones. It occurs in fallows, orchards, vegetable gardens, crops; as a ruderal plant, it grows on waste dumps, along roads and near houses. Control measures are proper crop rotation, deep plowing, crop harrowing.

Reference citations:

Agaev M.G., ed. 1993. Useful weed plants in the flora of the USSR. In: Catalogue of VIR world collection. N 643. Saint-Petersburg: VIR. 160 p. (in Russian).
Anonym. 1996-2003. Sisymbrium officinale. Plants for a future database: http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Sisymbrium+officinale
Keller B.A., ed. 1934. Weed plants of the USSR. V.3. Leningrad: AN SSSR. 448 p. (in Russian).
Komarov V.L. & Bush N.A., eds. 1939. Flora of the USSR. V.8. Moscow-Leningrad: AN SSSR. 696 p. (in Russian).
Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weed plants of the USSR flora. Leningrad: Nauka. 454 p. (in Russian).
Visyulina O.D., ed. 1970. Weeds of Ukraine (reference-identification guide). Kiev: Naukova Dumka. 508 p. (in Ukrainian).

© S.Yu. Larina

© Picture Larina S.Yu.

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