The bright yellow flowers of this early blooming plant are very noticeable in the early spring landscape. It is a short lived perennial or biennial and is found growing just about anywhere.
All Plants, Weeds
Soil & Site
fields, waste areas, woods, etc.
bright yellow, borne in a spike-like raceme, 4 petals forming a cross and 6 stamens, April-May and fall
Brownish seeds form in a thin capsule.
dark green basal leaves form a rosette, indented with a large terminal lobe, upper leaves clasp the stem progressively getting smaller and less indented
can be many stems from a single crown
over 12" tall
spreads by seeds
Introduced and naturalized from Eurasia.
The foliage has a bitter taste and is given the name "Bitter Cress" in many places. The sharp taste is due to the plant absorbing sulfur and metabolizing it into an oil. This is widely spread and common. Name Barbarea is after St. Barbara and vulgaris means common.