This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Erect glabrous biennial or perennial branching herbs, with angled stems, pinnatifid leaves, and racemose yellow flowers. Stamens 6. Silique elongated, linear, 4-angled, the valves keeled or ribbed. Style short. Stigma 2-lobed or nearly capitate. Seeds in 1 row in each cell, flat, oblong, marginless; cotyledons accumbent. [Name from St. Barbara, to whom the plant was anciently dedicated.]
A genus of about 7 species, natives of the temperate zones. Besides the following, another occurs in western North America. Type species: Barbarea vulgaris R. Br.
Pods obtusely 4-angled, slender-pedicelled; leaf-segments 1-4 pairs.
Pods divergent or ascending.
Pods erect, appressed.
Pods sharply 4-angled, stout-pedicelled; leaf-segments 4-8 pairs.
Erysimum Barbarea L. Sp. Pl. 660. 1753.
Tufted, stems erect, 1°-2° high. Lower leaves petioled, 2'-5' long, pinnatifid; terminal division much larger than the 1-4 pairs of lateral ones, all oval or obovate, repand-toothed or sometimes entire; upper leaves sessile or nearly so, sometimes clasping; flowers bright yellow, 3"-4" broad; pods spreading or ascending, about 1' long, obscurely 4-angled; pedicels about 2" long.
In fields and waste places, Labrador to southern New York and Virginia and locally in the interior. Also on the Pacific Coast. Naturalized from Europe. Leaves thickish, shining above. April-June. Bitter, winter- or rocket-cress. Winter- or wound-rocket. Herb Barbara.
Barbarea stricta Andrz. in Bess. Enum. Pl. Volh.
72. 1821. Barbarea vulgaris var. stricta A. Gray, Man. Ed.
2, 35. 1856.
Similar to the preceding species, about equally tall. Lateral segments of the leaves comparatively larger; flowers pale yellow; pods obtusely or obscurely 4-angled, about 1' long, erect and appressed against the rachis of the raceme on erect or ascending slender pedicels.
In fields and waste places, Quebec to Alaska, south to Virginia and Nebraska. Recorded from Florida. The plant is apparently naturalized from Europe in the East, but is reported as indigenous in the North and Northwest. It is abundant in northern Europe and Asia. Leaves shining above. April-June.
Erysimum vernum Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8, No. 3.
1768. Erysimum praecox J. E. Smith, Fl. Brit. 2: 707.
1800. Barbarea praecox R. Br. in Ait. Hort. Kew. Ed. 2, 4: 109. 1812. B. verna Aschers, Fl. Prov. Brandenb. 1: 36.
Closely resembles the last species. Divisions of the leaves more numerous (4-8 pairs); pods sharply 4-sided, slightly compressed, 1 1/2' - 3' long, borne on stout pedicels.
In waste places, Massachusetts to southern New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Florida. Ad-ventive from Europe. Sometimes cultivated for salad. Bank-, American- or Bermuda-cress. In the Southern States called scurvy-grass. April-June.