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Garden yellowrocket (Barbarea vulgaris)

Garden yellowrocket Synonyms: Barbarea arcuata, Barbarea stricta, Campe barbarea, Campe stricta

Common Names: Yellow rocket, winter cress

Description: Introduced to North America as a garden plant due to its showy nature. This species is listed under Regulation No. 715 - Seed Law Implementation as a restricted noxious weed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

Habit: Erect, Biennial/perennial, 8-32 in tall forb, dark green, branched towards the top, variable in regards to fruit and foliage.

Leaves: Cotyledons are egg-shaped on long stalks and slightly notched at the tip. First true leaves are rounded, usually with wavy margins. Mature leaves are pinnately-lobed to deeply-toothed, clasping; lower leaves with a large, rounded end lobe and 1-4 pairs of smaller side lobes; stems leaves getting smaller towards the top and becoming merely oval.

Stems: Biennial plants produce flowering stems during the second year of growth. Stems are erect, smooth, ridged, and branched at the top.

Flowers: Yellow in color, showy, 4-parted, 0.5 in wide; inflorescence a crowded cluster (raceme) of stalked flowers; blooms from April through June.

Fruit and seeds: Fruits are long, thin pods that are roundish in cross-section; seeds in 1 row.

Habitat: Native to Eurasia. Grows well in moist areas such as fields, disturbed sites and gardens.

Reproduction: By seed.

Similar species: Wild mustard (Brassica kaber) and wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) because at maturity the flowers of several mustard species resemble those of yellowrocket.

Monitoring and rapid response: Pull out small infestations and cultivate out young plants from bare soil areas. Effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate, 2,4-D and triclopyr.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium and the Virginia Tech Weed ID Guide.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Garden yellowrocket

Scientific Name:

Barbarea vulgaris







USDA Symbol: