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Yellow Rocket Barbarea vulgaris

Previously known as:

  • Barbarea vulgaris arcuata
Phonetic Spelling
bar-BAR-ree-uh vul-GAIR-iss
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Yellow Rocket Cress is a perennial or biennial herb native to Europe and Japan in the mustard family. In nature, it is commonly found in moist places, roadsides, stream banks and hedges. In its first year it forms a basal rosette of leaves and the next year it creates tall flowering stalks topped with goldenrod colored flowers. A healthy plant will produce flowers in abundance and they are mildly fragrant. The blooming period occurs from mid-spring to early summer and lasts about a month.  

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. The species Latin name vulgaris means “common”.

Yellow Rocket Cress does best in sun or light shade in moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soil. The plant will continue to grow all winter, if the weather is mild. Yellow Rocket Cress prefers a fertile loam or clay-loam soil, but growth is less robust at dry sites with poor soil. Most vegetative growth occurs during the cool weather of early to mid-spring. It is usually classified as a short-lived perennial, although it usually self-sows freely it is not considered particularly invasive. 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:
#showy flowers#edible leaves#flowers mid-summer#problem for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#edible leaves#flowers mid-summer#problem for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Barbarea
    Species:
    vulgaris
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Mediterranean, Japan
    Distribution:
    Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and Asia, Canada and the United States.
    Wildlife Value:
    attracts bees and butterfiles
    Edibility:
    Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, but there is some evidence that it can impact kidney function.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    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
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit produced on the same stems as the flowers. Angular-cylindrical seedpod about ¾ to 1 inch long. The base of each seedpod is connected to a short slender pedicel, while at the other end it terminates in a short slender beak. These seedpods are ascending, rather than strictly erect, along the racemes. The seeds are ovoid, slightly flattened, and more or less brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Upper stems terminate in racemes of yellow flowers. The flowers bloom toward the apex of each raceme, while the seedpods (siliques) develop below. Each flower is up to 1/3 of an inch across, consisting of 4 yellow petals, 4 yellowish green sepals that are linear-lanceolate, 6 stamens with pale yellow to light brown anthers, and a single pistil with a thick style.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal leaves are up to 6 inches long and 2½ inches across, odd-pinnate with 1-4 pairs of lateral lobes and a large terminal lobe. These lobes are oval, obovate, or nearly orbicular, and have margins that are slightly undulate or bluntly dentate. The alternate leaves are sessile or clasp the stems. The lower to middle alternate leaves resemble the basal leaves, except that they are smaller and have fewer lateral lobes. The upper alternate leaves are up to 2 inches long and 1 inch across. Both the basal and alternate leaves are dark green, hairless, and shiny on the upper surface.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Flowers are held on hairless stalks that are stout, light green to reddish purple, and somewhat angular. Secondary stalks are produced in the upper half of the plant.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Rock Wall
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    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