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Brown Mustards Brassica juncea

Phonetic Spelling
BRAS-ee-ka JUN-see-uh
Description

Brown Mustard is an annual herb in the cruciferous family that has been introduced to all of North America from Eurasia– It is listed as invasive in some midwestern states.  However, the leaves and flowers of certain cultivars are cultivated for use in the edible garden, having a hot mustard flavor.  Young leaves can be eaten in mixed salads and older leaves are usually cooked as greens.  Some areas of the world also grow it for its spicy seeds.

Mustard grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, rich, consistently moist soil.  As a cool-season plant, it does best in the fall and spring, bolting and developing a strong flavor in the summer.  Some shade is appreciated as the weather turns hot, especially for growing baby greens.  Moisture and temperature stress lead to a spicier, unpleasantly strong flavor as well.  Curly-leaved cultivars tolerate frost better than straight-leaved cultivars.

Sow seeds in the spring 3 weeks before last frost or in late summer as the weather begins to cool.  Thin plants to 6 in apart.  They can also be planted in containers at a minimum size of 3 gal and 4-6 in deep.  New seeds can be planted every 2-3 weeks for a continuous harvest.  They grow to maturity at about 30-50 days after planting and can be harvested at a small "baby" size or larger, mature size.  Baby leaves are best eaten raw while larger leaves improve with cooking.

It also has promise for use in phytoremediation as it tolerates and takes up heavy metals in contaminated soils easily.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Davidson County Demo Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#yellow#full sun#fall flowers#yellow flowers#fall interest#fast growing#summer flowers#fields#vegetable garden#vegetable#edible leaves#wildflower garden#edible#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#yellow#full sun#fall flowers#yellow flowers#fall interest#fast growing#summer flowers#fields#vegetable garden#vegetable#edible leaves#wildflower garden#edible#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Brassica
    Species:
    juncea
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Seeds for essential oils
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Russia to central Asia
    Edibility:
    The leaves, seeds, flowers, and stems of this mustard variety are edible raw or cooked. Harvested leaves can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    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:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Description:
    Long pods with round, brown seeds. The seeds are harvested for use in condiments and oil.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    This plant has a terminal cluster of 1.5" yellow flowers with four petals.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Entire
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lower leaves are variously lobed. Upper leaves taper to a short petiole. They are smooth with a whitish bloom. Leaves may have some purple veins or even be completely purple in color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Problems:
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy