Sisymbrium loeselii (Tall Hedge Mustard)

Plant Info
Also known as: Small Tumbleweed Mustard
Genus:Sisymbrium
Family:Brassicaceae (Mustard)
Life cycle:annual, biennial
Origin:Europe
Status:
  • Weedy
Habitat:sun; disturbed soil; roadsides, waste areas, fields, railroads
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:2 to 4 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 4-petals Cluster type: raceme Cluster type: round

[photo of flowers] Small densely packed rounded clusters at the end of branching stems that elongate as the plant matures. Flowers are about 1/3 inch across, with 4 rounded bright yellow petals and 6 greenish stamens with yellow tips in the center.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are up to 6 inches long and 2½ inches wide, deeply divided into narrow to angular lobes, the tip lobe largest and triangular to arrowhead shaped, with 2 to 4 pairs of lateral lobes that often point backwards. Surfaces are variously hairy, stalks are up to 2 inches long. Edges have irregular, coarse teeth and a fringe of fine hairs. Leaves become smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem.

[photo of stem and leaf hairs] Stems are covered in spreading to downward pointing (deflexed) hairs, especially in the lower plant and may be hairless near the flowers.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a very slender pod ¾ to 1½ inches long, spreading to upward curved, with the brown stub of the style at the tip.

Notes:

Tall Hedge Mustard is a weed of landscapes, nurseries and waste places that has become more common in the metro in recent years. We suspect it is a lot more widespread than the herbarium records indicate. The yellow mustards can be difficult to distinguish as the flowers all look much the same. Tall Hedge Mustard is most easily distinguished by the triangular terminal lobes on the leaves, hairy stem, 1/3-inch flowers in roundish clusters at branch tips, and spreading to upward-curving pods ¾ to 1½ inch long. Most similar is Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale), which has straight, appressed fruit about half the size, flowers also about half the size only a few of which are open on a branch at a time.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Lac Qui Parle and Ramsey counties. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Hennepin, Lac Qui Parle and Ramsey counties.

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