Descurainia sophia

Scientific Name Descurainia sophia L.
Synonyms Sisymbrium sophia L.
Common Names English: Tansy mustard, flixweed, German: Sophienkraut, French: Sagesse-des-chirurgiens
Description Annual, over-wintering, seed-propagated weed with ramified taproot. The plant is slightly poisonous.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Much divided leaves, densely pubescent stems, and ascending long fruits.

Young Plant

Elongate, leaf tip obtuse, 3 - 6 mm (0.12 - 0.23 inch) long, short-petiolate, lower part covered with rare, thin hairs.

Stems

Erect, often branched above, stretched-ramified.
Plants are 20 -50 cm (7.87 - 19.68 inch) tall.

Leaves

Alternate, sessile, basal with auricles, bi- tripinnatisect, with lineal- lanceolate lacinules, fine gray or whitish pubescent, linear or broadly ovate.

Propagation Organs

Flowers

Bright yellow to whitish.
Peduncles 2-3 times longer than sepals.
Petals(4) pale-greenish-yellow, 1.5 - 2.5 mm (0.059 - 0.098 inch) long, in elongated clusters (racemes).

Flowering Period

Late spring - middle of autumn.

Fruit

Silique to 2.5 cm (0.98 inch) long, 1 mm (0.039 inch) in diameter, many seeded.
Pedicel up to 1.5 cm (0.59 inch) long, filiform.

Seeds

Germination in spring and autumn.

Viability of Seeds

Up to 4 years.

Propagation

110,000 - 770,000 seeds/plant.
Shallow germinator.
Germination depth up to 3 cm ( 1.18 inch).

Occurrence

Habitat

Waste ground, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads.

Soil

Common on various, especially sandy and light soils.

Agricultural Importance

D. sophia originates from North America and is a troublesome weed in cultivated lands, grain fields, oil seed rape and disturbed areas.
The weed is toxic to livestock.

Control

Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

Competitive crops and mulching reduce emergence of tansy mustard.

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