Barbarea, because anciently called the Herb of St. Barbara.

An early blooming biennial. Naturalized from Europe. Sunny places in low grounds and margins of runlets. Labrador to New York, south to Virginia and westward. Abundant in northern Ohio. April, May.

Stems

About two feet high, growing in tufts, branched, leafy, bearing many racemes of yellow flowers.

Leaves

Lower leaves lyrate; the terminal division round and usually large; the lateral divisions in pairs varying from one to four, or rarely wanting; upper leaves obovate, cut, toothed, or pinnatified at the base.

Flowers

Yellow crucifers, in showy panicled racemes. Pods erect or slightly spreading, obtusely four-angled.

This is the first of our yellow Mustards. It is found in the fields, where it marks the course of a tiny runlet or gathers round a bit of lowland in pasture or meadow; its presence is sunshine. Each plant consists of a bunch of erect, leafy stems a foot high or more, branching into flower-stems, each crowned with a loose spike of little yellow flowers, looking not unlike yellow Sweet Alyssum. The bloom is profuse, and the blooming season lasts well through May. A trail of seed-pods is left in the wake of the little crucifers as they continue to bloom along the lengthening stem. The lower flowers open while the top of the cluster is closely packed with short, narrow buds. By June the yellow is past, the brownish green has come, and the plant is swallowed up by the surrounding foliage and summer growth. Gray reports it as apparently introduced, but indigenous from Lake Superior northward and westward. It is one of our most attractive early flowers and is known as Yellow Rocket, Winter-Cress, Wild Mustard, and Herb of St. Barbara.

Yellow Rocket. Barbaric vulgaris

Yellow Rocket. Barbaric vulgaris