Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Sinapis arvensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub; sap pungent, watery. Leaf: generally simple, alternate; generally both basal, cauline; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally not bracted. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 4, generally free; petals (0)4, forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple; stamens generally 6 (2 or 4), 4 long, 2 short (3 pairs of unequal length); ovary 1, superior, generally 2-chambered with septum connecting 2 parietal placentas; style 1, stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule, generally 2-valved, "silique" (length >= 3 × width) or "silicle" (length < 3 × width), dehiscent by 2 valves or indehiscent, cylindric or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, segmented or not. Seed: 1--many, in 1 or 2 rows per chamber, winged or wingless; embryo strongly curved.
Genera In Family: +- 330 genera, 3780 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Highest diversity in Mediterranean area, mountains of southwestern Asia, adjacent central Asia, western North America; some Brassica species are oil or vegetable crops; Arabidopsis thaliana used in experimental molecular biology; many species are ornamentals, weeds. Aurinia saxatilis (L.) Desvaux in cultivation only. Aubrieta occasional waif in central NCoR, Carrichtera annua (L.) DC. in SCo, Iberis sempervirens L., Iberis umbellata L. in PR, Teesdalia coronopifolia (Bergeret) Thell., Teesdalia nudicaulis (L.) W.T. Aiton in southern NCoRO, CCo. Cardaria, Coronopus moved to Lepidium; Caulostramina to Hesperidanthus; Guillenia to Caulanthus; Heterodraba to Athysanus; California taxa of Lesquerella to Physaria; Malcolmia africana to Strigosella.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SinapisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual [perennial herb]; hairs 0 or simple. Leaf: basal not rosetted, petioled, dentate to 1- or 2-pinnately lobed; distal reduced, sessile or short-petioled, base not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: sepals oblong to linear, spreading, base not sac-like; petals yellow, obovate, clawed. Fruit: silique, dehiscent, linear to lanceolate, cylindric, +- 4-angled, or flat parallel to septum, generally constricted between seeds, segmented; terminal segment 1- or 2-seeded or seeds 0; proximal segment few- to several-seeded, valves prominently 3--7-veined; stigma 2-lobed. Seed: 4--16(24), in 1 row, spheric, wingless.
Species In Genus: 5 species: Mediterranean, Eurasia. Etymology: (Latin: mustard, from flavor of seeds)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Sinapis arvensis L.
Stem: (0.5)2--10(21) dm, simple or branched, hairs spreading to reflexed, occasionally glabrous. Leaf: basal blade (3)4--18(25) cm, 1.5--5(7) cm wide, obovate to oblong or lanceolate, pinnately lobed; lateral lobes 1--4 pairs, dentate; cauline short-petioled (sessile), dentate. Flower: sepals (4.5)5--6(7) mm; petals (8)9--12(17) mm, (3)4--6(7.5) mm wide, yellow. Fruit: (1.5)2--4.5(5.7) cm, (1.5)2.5--3.5(4) mm wide; lower segment (0.6)1.2--3.5(4.3) cm; terminal segment seedless or 1-seeded; pedicel ascending, (2)3--7 mm. Seed: (1)1.5--2 mm wide. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1800 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP (exc SNH); Distribution Outside California: widespread North America, native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: Mar--Oct
Unabridged Synonyms: Brassica kaber (DC.) L.C. Wheeler
Jepson eFlora Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

Previous taxon: Sinapis alba
Next taxon: Sisymbrium

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Sinapis arvensis

botanical illustration including Sinapis arvensis


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Sinapis arvensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

Sinapis arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2019 Barry Breckling
Sinapis arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Sinapis arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2019 Barry Breckling
Sinapis arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2013 Vernon Smith
Sinapis arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Sinapis arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling

More photos of Sinapis arvensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sinapis arvensis:
CA-FP (exc SNH)
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).