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American Rocket Barbarea orthoceras

Phonetic Spelling
bar-BAR-ree-uh or-tho-SAIR-as
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

American Yellow Rocket is a biennial or short-lived perennial flowering herb in the mustard family native to western North America and Asia and found naturally on the banks of streams, swamps, wetland or riparian areas or forests.  It has bright golden yellow flowers and erect slender green seed pods. The genus name Barbarea derives from Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners, as this plant in the past was used to soothe the wounds caused by explosions.

American Yellow Rocket grows best in moist conditions with sun or light shade in slightly acidic, well-drained soil and produces a stiff, branching stem to heights between 4 and 24 inches. The leaves are about 8 inches long and oval in shape with several rounded lobes toward the end. The flower is a spike or cluster of bright yellow flowers at the tip of each stem branch. The fruit is straight and narrow up to 2 inches long. The leaves can be eaten in moderation raw or cooked, and the roots can have a horseradish-like flavor. The plant has a stout taproot which can make it difficult to transplant once mature. This plant spreads by reseeding itself, and occasionally forms colonies.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect pests.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#edible plant#biennial#herbaceous perennials#edible leaves#wet soils tolerant#problem for horses#flowering
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#edible plant#biennial#herbaceous perennials#edible leaves#wet soils tolerant#problem for horses#flowering
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Barbarea
    Species:
    orthoceras
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia, Labrador to Alaska and south to California
    Distribution:
    North America and Northeast Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies, skippers, and moths are known to feed on this plant.
    Edibility:
    The leaves are edible, raw or cooked, with a hot, cress-like flavor. There is some evidence that it can impact kidney function.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Slender, erect, straight or slightly curved pods, up to 2 inches long, with many tiny oval oblong seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    1/4" wide 4 petaled yellow flowers found in rounded to cylindrical groups in leaf axils reaching 1 1/2" across. 4 green-yellow sepals surround the flower. Flowers form from the tip and continue flowering from May-July.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Basal, alternate leaves are deeply lobed with a deep tip lobe and 1-4 pairs of smaller lobes along the petiole. The margin can be lobed or with a few coarse teeth. Basal leaves can be up to 2 1/2" long and up to 1" wide but they get smaller as they ascend the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Purple-green streaks or stripes single or multiple from the base of the plant, smooth, ridged or angled.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Consuming quantities of leaves can affect kidney function.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves