Erucastrum gallicum (Willd.) O.E. Schulz

Dog Mustard

Erucastrum gallicum plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - To 75 cm, ascending or erect, branched from base, pubescent with simple hairs.

Erucastrum_gallicum_leavesStem and leaves.

Leaves - Basal and alternate, lower leaves to 15 cm (upper leaves progressively smaller), short-petiolate, not clasping. Blades oblong or oblanceolate, pubescent with simple hairs, once or twice irregularly pinnately lobed or divided, with divisions irregularly toothed.


Inflorescences - Panicles. At least lower flower stalks subtended by small leaflike bracts.


Flowers - Sepals 4, 2-4 mm long, ascending, narrowly oblong. Petals 4, 4-7 mm long, not lobed, pale yellow. Stamens 6. Styles 1.5-3.0 mm.



Erucastrum_gallicum_flowers3Flower and bract.

Fruit - Fruits ascending, straight, 2-4 cm long, more than 10 times as long as wide, linear, somewhat 4-angled in cross-section, not beaked except for the persistent style. Seeds in 1 row in each locule, not winged, the surface with a fine, netlike or honeycomb-like pattern of ridges and pits, reddish orange.

Erucastrum_gallicum_fruitFlower and fruit.

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Railroads, open disturbed areas, sometimes in poor, sandy substrate.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Other info. - This species is uncommon in Missouri, but could be under-reported because it is so inconspicuous, having a generally small stature and small, pale flowers. In general aspect it is similar to other members of the Brassicaceae. The pinnatifid leaves, pale corollas, and leafy bracts subtending at least the lower flowers are diagnostic.

Photographs taken at St. Joe State Park, St. Francois County, MO, 9-12-2012, 6-10-2013, and 9-5-2018 (SRTurner).