Sinapis arvensis

Botanical Name: Sinapis arvensis
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Sinapis
Species: S. arvensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms: Charlock. Brassica Sinapistrum

Common Names: Field mustard, Wild mustard or Charlock

Habitat: Sinapis arvensis is a native of the Mediterranean basin, it is widespread in all temperate regions of the planet. It has also become naturalized throughout much of North America. It is a highly invasive species, a weed, such as in California.

Description:
Sinapis arvensis is an annual plant. It reaches on average 20–80 centimetres (7.9–31.5 in) of height, but under optimal conditions can exceed one metre. The stems are erect, branched and striated, with coarse spreading hairs especially near the base.

The leaves are petiolate with a length of 1–4 centimetres (0.39–1.57 in). The basal leaves are oblong, oval, lanceolate, lyrate, pinnatifid to dentate, 4–18 centimetres (1.6–7.1 in) long, 2–5 centimetres (0.79–1.97 in) wide. The cauline leaves are much reduced and are short petiolate to sessile but not auriculate-clasping……...CLICK  & SEE  THE PICTURES

The inflorescence is a raceme made up of yellow flowers having four petals. The fruit is a silique 3-5 cm long with a beak 1-2 cm long that is flattened-quadrangular. The valves of the silique are glabrous or rarely bristly, three to five nerved. The seeds are smooth 1-1.5 mm in diameter.

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Flowering occurs from May to SeptemberIt is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from May to August.  The flowers are pollinated by various bees and flies (entomophily). Sinapis arvensis is the host plant of the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, such as the small white, Pieris rapae. It contains chemicals of the class glucosinolates, including sinalbin.

Cultivation: Usually found on heavy alkaline soils in the wild. Succeeds on most soils. Dislikes shade. The plant harbours an eelworm that attacks other crops. It is therefore best not to grow it in a garden setting.

Propagation : Seed – germinates in spring and autumn in the wild. It should not really need much encouragement.

Part Used: Seeds.

Edible Uses: Edible Uses: Condiment; Oil; Oil.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Somewhat hot, the young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads, where they add a piquant flavour. Older leaves are used as a potherb. It is best to use just the young shoots and leaves in the spring, older leaves are bitter. Flowering stems – cooked. A pleasant, cabbage/radish flavour, they can be used as a broccoli substitute before the flowers open. The stems should be lightly steamed for no more than 5 minutes. The flowers can also be cooked as a vegetable or used as a garnish. Seed – it can be sprouted and eaten raw. A hot flavour, it can be added to salads and sandwiches. The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring. It has a hot mustard flavour. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Black depression’, ‘Melancholia’ and ‘Gloom’.
Other Uses: ..Oil; Oil…..An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is also used in making soap and burns well so can be used for lighting.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinapis_arvensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mustar65.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sinapis+arvensis

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