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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

22. Brassicaceae, the Mustard Family

1. Barbarea R. Br. -- Winter cress

1. Barbarea vulgaris R. Br.

Glabrous to sparsely hirsute, taprooted biennial or perennial 2-6 dm tall; simple below, branched above, often purplish at the base. Basal leaves all or mostly lyrate-pinnatifid and long-petioled, with a large, round to oblong terminal lobe and (0)1-4 pairs of small lateral lobes, 3-15 cm long including the petiole, 1-3 cm wide; cauline leaves similar to the basal ones but short-petioled to sessile and auriculate-clasping, reduced upward, the uppermost sinuate-lobed or angular-toothed, not pinnatifid. Inflorescence of few to many, terminal and lateral ebracteate racemes; pedicels 3-6 mm long. Flowers rather showy; sepals yellowish-green, oblong, 2-3 mm long; petals yellow, spatulate, 5-8 mm long. Siliques 2-valved, linear to curved-linear, 10-30 mm long, 0.5-1 mm thick, slightly 4-angled, the style persistent as a beak 1.5-3.5 mm long; seeds in 1 row in each cell of the fruit. Late May--Jun. Wet meadows, stream banks and alluvial bars; common in the Black Hills, otherwise sporadic; (Intro. from Europe and naturalized throughout most of N.Amer.).

Reports of the more northern B. orthoceras Ledeb. for this region, and the Black Hills in particular, are apparently based on misidentified specimens of B. vulgaris.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Return to Family -- Brassicaceae - The Mustard Family
Next Species -- Cardamine bulbosa (Schreb.) B.S.P. -- Spring cress

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