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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 668. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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2. Sinapis arvensis L. (wild mustard, charlock, crunchweed)

Brassica arvensis (L.) Rabenh.

B. kaber (DC.) L.C. Wheeler

B. kaber var. pinnatifida (Stokes) L.C. Wheeler

Pl. 327 a–d; Map 1390

Stems (5–)20–100(–210) cm long. Basal and lower leaves 5–20(–25) cm long, obovate in outline, usually pinnately divided with 3–11 irregular, toothed lobes, sometimes only toothed. Upper leaves progressively reduced, the smallest 1–2 cm long, oblanceolate to oblong in outline, usually sessile, the margins toothed. Sepals (4–)5–6(–8) mm long. Petals (8–)9–12(–17) mm long. Fruits with the beaks 0.8–1.6 cm long, usually about half as long as the lower portion, narrowly conical, circular or angled in cross-section, the lower portion of the fruit (0.6–)1.2–3.5(–4.3) cm long, glabrous or sparsely pubescent with short hairs fairly uniform in size, usually slightly constricted between the seeds. Seeds (2–)4–8(–12) per locule, (1.0–)1.4–2.0 mm in diameter, the surface with a fine, indistinct, netlike or honeycomb-like pattern of ridges and pits, reddish brown to black. 2n=18. April–July.

Introduced, widely scattered in Missouri (native of Europe, Asia, introduced nearly worldwide). Edges of crop fields, railroads, roadsides, and open, disturbed areas.

This species is more common in Missouri than S. alba and is almost certainly more common in Missouri than present herbarium specimens would indicate. It is a worldwide weed of crop fields and disturbed ground that is very difficult to eradicate because of its high production of seeds that are quite long-lived (Al-Shehbaz, 1985).

Although generally considered an introduced species in North America, archaeological studies document that S. arvensis was present in the northeastern United States as early as 8,000 years ago, and it was relatively abundant and widespread by 2,000 years before the present (Jacobson et al., 1988). However, it is highly doubtful that seeds of this species can be determined with certainty from other cultivated mustards especially in archaeological remains. It is not known whether the plants were grown by Native Americans at that time or were components of the indigenous flora. Whichever the case, the species appears to have become extirpated from North America prior to European colonization, and the earliest collections found in herbaria are consistent with its status as a weedy introduction, rather than a native species (Rollins, 1993).



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