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Common Names:Wintercress, Bittercress, Herb Barbara, Rocketcress, Yellow Rocketcress, Winter Rocket, and Wound Rocket
Habitat :Barbarea vulgaris is Native to Europe it is naturalised in many parts of North America as a weed.The plant prefers fresh or moist places, on roadsides, along rivers, or on the slopes and in ditches, at an altitude of 0–1,600 metres (0–5,200 ft) above sea level.
This plant grows to about 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) of height, with a maximum of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in). The stem is ribbed and hairless, branched at the base. It has a basal rosettes of shiny, dark green leaves. The basal leaves are stalked and lyre-pinnatifid, that is with a large terminal lobe and smaller lower lobes. The cauline leaves are smaller, ovate, toothed or lobed. The flowers are borne in spring in dense terminal clusters above the foliage. They are 7–9 millimetres (0.28–0.35 in) long, with four bright yellow petals.The flowering period extends from about April through July. The fruit is a pod of about 15–30 millimetres (0.59–1.2 in).
The leaves are vulnerary and have been used as a poultice for treating wounds. A tea made from the leaves is appetizer, antiscorbutic and diuretic.
Most Barbarea vulgaris genotypes are naturally resistant to some insect species that are otherwise specialized on the crucifer family. In the case of diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and the flea beetle Phyllotreta nemorum, the resistance is caused by saponins. Glucosinolates such as glucobarbarin and glucobrassicin are used as a cue for egg-laying by female cabbage white butterflies such as Pieris rapae. Indeed, the larvae of this butterfly thrive well on this plant. Diamond back moth females are also stimulated by these chemicals, but the larvae die due to the content of saponins which are apparently not sensed by the moths. This phenomenon has been tested for biological insect control: B. vulgaris plants are placed in a field and attract much of the diamondback moth egg load. As the larvae die shortly after hatching, this kind of insect control has been named “dead-end trap cropping“.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
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- Frankenmoth: Health fears over plans to release millions of GM insects designed to destroy pests (dailymail.co.uk)
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- Vulgaris: the Misunderstood Term (aplaceofmind.ubc.ca)