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Sisymbrium irio

Phonetic Spelling
sis-SIM-bree-um IR-ee-oh
Description

London rocket is an annual weed is in the Brassicaceae (mustard) family.  It grows up to three feet in height with tall, open stems.  Plants have both male and female organs and are pollinated by insects.  

Its early maturity each spring give it an advantage over desired wildflowers and native plants.  In wild lands settings, they can replace native plants.  It can reach heights of up to 3 feet tall, however, typically mature to around 20".

The leaves can be eaten as a green, however, they are typically eaten when other foods are not available, its spicy-hot flavor being a deterrent.  The flowers can be eaten raw, while the seeds are ground into a powder and mixed with other ingredients to make nutrient rich foods that include cereal, baked goods and tortillas.  

It can quickly recover after being subjected to fire.  Its common name, London Rockets, allegedly refers to its rapid regrowth after the Great Fire of London in the 1600s.

Small yellow flowers form in clusters at the end of the stems.  Its basal leaves may be lobed. 

In its native habitat, it can be found in desert locations, open fields, roadsides, walls, and other disturbed areas flourishing in the springtime.  The summer heat will cause the plant to die.  In the US, it is typically found in the southwestern state, and occasionally in numerous other locations.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This weedy plant can harbor insects and diseases that can have a negative effect on other crops in the mustard family.   Attempts to eradicate this weed can be very time-consuming.  Cutting down or burning before its seeds become viable will exhaust the seed bank, thereby over time, eliminating the plant.  It is considered invasive in some areas of the country.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weedy#high maintenance#fast growing#herbaceous#annual weed#herbaceous annual#dry soils tolerant#heat intolerant#self-fertile#broadleaf#annual#weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weedy#high maintenance#fast growing#herbaceous#annual weed#herbaceous annual#dry soils tolerant#heat intolerant#self-fertile#broadleaf#annual#weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sisymbrium
    Species:
    irio
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Western and Central Asia and North Africa
    Distribution:
    Southwest US and Great Lakes region
    Edibility:
    The flowers, seed and leaves can be eaten.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • 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)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a slender, rounded pod that grows in an ascending pattern on the upper stem. Its length can be 3 times the width. When ripe, it will split open to reveal small red seeds. It will remain green as it ripens.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small bright to pale yellow flowers form in clusters at the tips of the branches.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Oblanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The oblanceolate to oblong basal leaves grow up to 6" long and may be lobed. They have a pronounced midvein. The 4" stem leaves are linear or oblong.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The tall, open, slender stems may be sparsely hairy at its base. The erect stems are mostly branched near the base. The green stems can have a purple tinge.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Weedy