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..
Annual or biennial, usually erect, branching more or less hispid herbs, with pinnatifid or lobed leaves, and rather large, mostly yellow flowers in terminal racemes. Siliques linear, nearly terete, constricted between the seeds, sessile in the calyx, smooth or densely hispid, tipped with a very long flat sword-like or angled beak which often contains a seed near its base, the valves 3-nerved. Seeds subglobose, in one row in each cell, not winged nor margined. Cotyledons conduplicate. [Name Greek, said to come from the Celtic for turnip.]
About 5 species, natives of southern Europe. Type species: Sinapis alba L.
Leaves lyrate pinnatifid; fruiting pedicels 4"-5" long.
Leaves dentate or lobed; fruiting pedicels 2" - 3" long.
Sinapis alba L. Sp. Pl. 668. 1753.
Brassica alba Boiss. Voy. Espag. 2: 39. 1839-45.
Erect, annual, 1°-2° high, more or less pubescent with stiff spreading hairs. Lower leaves 6-8' long, obovate in outline, deeply pinnatifid or pinnate, with a large terminal leaflet or lobe and several pairs of smaller lateral ones, dentate all around; uppermost leaves lanceolate or oblong, often merely dentate, short-petioled; flowers yellow, 7"-9" broad; pedicels rather stout, spreading, 5"-7" long in fruit; pods spreading or ascending, terete, constricted between the seeds; beak flat, equalling or sometimes longer than the rest of the pod; seeds light brown.
Sinapis arvensis L. Sp. Pl. 668. 1753.
Brassica Sinapistrum Boiss. Voy. Espagne 2: 39. 1839-45.
Brassica arvensis B.S.P. Prel. Cat. N. Y. 1888.
Erect, annual, 1°-2° high, hispid with scattered stiff hairs, or glabrate, branching above. Leaves variously irregularly toothed or lobed; flowers 6"-8" broad; pedicels stout, 2"-3" long in fruit; pods glabrous or slightly bristly, spreading or ascending, somewhat constricted between the seeds, 6"-8" long, 1" wide, tipped with a flattened elongated-conic often 1-seeded beak 5"-6" long, the valves strongly nerved In fields and waste places, frequent. Adventive from Europe and widely distributed as a weed. Corn-mustard, chadlock, corn- or field-kale. Ked-lock. Kerlock or curlock. Bastard-rocket. Runch-, crowd- or kraut-weed. Yellow-flower. Water-cress. May-Nov.
40. ERŲCA [Tourn.] Mill. Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4. 1754. Annual or biennial branching herbs, with pinnately lobed or dentate leaves, and rather large racemose flowers, the petals yellowish to purplish with brown or violet veins. Style elongated. Siliques linear-oblong, dehiscent, long-beaked, the 3-nerved valves concave. Seeds in 2 rows on each cell. Cotyledons conduplicate. [Latin name for some crucifer.]
Ten species, or fewer, natives of Europe and western Asia, the following typical.
Brassica Eruca L. Sp. Pl. 667. 1753.
Eruca sativa Mill. Gard. Dict. Ed. 8, No. 1. 1768.
Annual, somewhat succulent, glabrous, 1°-1 1/2° high, commonly much branched. Basal and lower leaves pinnately lobed or pinnatifid, 3'-6' long; upper leaves smaller, lobed, dentate or denticulate; flowers 1/2'-3/4' wide, variously colored, the petals strongly veined; raceme much elongated in front, the short pedicels and the pods erect-appressed; pods 1/2' long or more, tipped by a stout flat beak.