[Barbarea arcuata Rchb., more]
Biennials or, rarely, perennials;
glabrous throughout or margins ciliate. Stems
(1.5-)2-9(-12) dm. Basal leaves:
petiole (0.5-)2-10(-17) cm; blade lyrate-pinnatifid, (1-)2-8(-10) cm, lobes 1-3(-5) on each side (rarely early ones undivided), lateral lobes oblong or ovate, 0.3-2(-4) cm × 1-8(-15) mm, sometimes slightly fleshy, margins entire, repand, crenate, or dentate, terminal lobe (ovate or suborbicular), (0.7-)1.5-4.5(-7) cm × (4-)10-30(-50) mm, (surfaces glabrous or margins ciliate). Cauline leaves:
blade ovate or suborbicular (undivided), margins usually coarsely dentate, rarely subentire; conspicuously auriculate, auricles ovate or narrowly oblong (to 10 × 5 mm), glabrous. Fruiting pedicels
divaricate to ascending or erect, 3-7 mm, terete or subquadrangular, thickened (narrower than fruit). Flowers:
sepals 3-4.5(-5) × 1-1.5 mm, lateral pair slightly saccate basally, margins scarious; petals yellow, spatulate or oblanceolate, (5-)6-9(-10) × 1.5-2.5(-3.5) mm, base attenuate, apex rounded; filaments 3-4.5 mm; anthers 0.7-1.2 mm; ovules 18-24(-28) per ovary; gynophore to 0.5 mm. Fruits
erect to erect-ascending, rarely appressed to rachis, torulose, terete, somewhat compressed, or 4-angled, (0.7-)1.5-3 cm × 1.2-2 mm; style slender, (1-)1.5-3(-3.5) mm. Seeds
dark brown, plump, broadly ovoid to oblong or subglobose, 1.2-1.5 × 1-1.2 mm. 2n
= 16. Flowering Apr-Jul. Waste places, ditches, riverbanks, damp grasslands, roadsides, fields, disturbed sites; 0-3000 m; introduced; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ala., Alaska, Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.Dak., Tenn., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Europe; Asia; n Africa. Barbarea vulgaris
, which is sometimes grown as a potherb, is highly variable in length and orientation of fruit and fruiting pedicel, style length, and the division of cauline leaves. Several varieties have been recognized, and they represent some of the many points along one continuum. In my opinion, it is better not to recognize any infraspecific taxa in North America.
Biennial or short-lived perennial herb 20 cm - 0.8 m tall Stem
: upright, branched above. Flowers
: in crowded, branched clusters, bright yellow, 6 - 8 mm long, 2 - 3 mm wide. Petals four. Stamens six. Fruit
: a narrow pod, ascending or spreading, 1.5 - 4 cm long, rounded in cross-section, curved, with a 2 - 3 mm long beak. Attached to a 3 - 6 mm long, 0.5 mm wide stalk. Seeds in one row. Basal leaves
: stalked, dark green, 5 - 12.5 cm long, with one to four pairs of small lobes and a large terminal one. Lateral lobes elliptic to egg-shaped. Terminal lobe egg-shaped to rounded. Stem leaves
: alternate, stalkless, somewhat clasping the stem, dark green, 5 - 12.5 cm long (progressively reducing in size), pinnately lobed to toothed.
Similar species: The variety vulgaris is very similar but its pods are strongly appressed to the stem. Barbarea verna differs by having four to ten pairs of lobes on its basal leaves and longer pods (4.5 - 7 cm).
Flowering: mid-April to mid-July
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Europe. An abundant weed growing in a variety of habitats, such as moist fields, roadsides, and waste places.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Notes: This weed of the spring season is often mistaken for a Brassica, which blooms later.
Etymology: Barbarea refers to St. Barbara, a patron saint of artillerymen and miners. Vulgaris means common.
Author: The Morton Arboretum
Dark green, erect, branched above, 2-8 dm, bitter; basal lvs petiolate, with 1-4 pairs of small, elliptic to ovate lateral lobes and a large, ovate to rotund terminal one; cauline lvs progressively reduced, the upper sessile and generally lobed rather than pinnatifid, or the uppermost entire or merely toothed; fls crowded at anthesis; pet 6-8 mm; mature pedicels 3-6 נ0.5 mm; frs erect and appressed to ascending or spreading, 1.5-3 cm, the beak 2-3 mm; 2n=16. Native of Eurasia, now widely naturalized as a weed in wet meadows and in damp soil of fields, roadsides, and gardens. Apr.-June. (B. barbarea; Campe b.; B. stricta; Campe s.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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