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Brassica nigra

Brassica nigra (L.) W.D.J. Koch

Sinapis nigra L.

Black Mustard

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderBrassicalesMustard, cabbage, caper, papaya, nasturtiums, many others; most produce mustard oil
FamilyBrassicaceaeMustards, cabbages
GenusBrassicaA Latin name for “cabbage”
SpeciesnigraBlack, referring to the color of the seeds

About plant names...

Black mustard is native to tropical North Africa, temperate regions of Europe, and parts of Asia. It is naturalized throughout most of North America. Black mustard prefers disturbed soils, river or stream floodplains, lake shores, and meadows and fields. The plant contains glucosinolates, chemicals that deter herbivores.

Plants: 24-96" (60-243 cm) tall, branching sometimes. Stems are smooth near the top, become sparsely to densely hairy near the base. They are covered with a waxy sub­stance that rubs off easily.

Leaves: alternate, up to 10" (25 cm) long × 3" (7.6 cm) wide, on long stalks (petioles). They are deeply divided.

Flowers: Yellow, with four petals, in clusters at stem tips. Each petal is ¼-⅜" (7-11 mm) long and ¹/₁₆-⅛" (3-4 mm) wide.

Fruits: Long narrow upward-pointing seedpods are ⅜-⅞" (1-2.5 cm) in length. Each seedpod contains four rounded black or brown seeds.

Edibility: Black or dark brown seeds are commonly used, after removing seed coats and grinding, as a curry spice or similar flavoring agent.

Medical: Mustard or other pastes made from the seeds were once used to treat respiratory ailments or relieve muscular pains.

Online References:

Brassica nigra at Illinois Wildflowers

Brassica nigra on gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org

Brassica nigra on Wikipedia

Brassica nigra from the Jepson Manual

Brassica nigra (Black Mustard)

7/19/2017 · Monongahela National Forest, Monongahela, WV
≈ 4 × 3" (10 × 8.3 cm)

Brassica nigra description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 6 Aug 2019.

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Brassica nigra (Black Mustard)

7/19/2017 · Monongahela National Forest, Monongahela, WV
≈ 8 × 5" (20 × 13 cm)

Brassica nigra (Black Mustard)

7/19/2017 · Monongahela National Forest, Monongahela, WV
≈ 6 × 4" (14 × 10 cm)

Brassica nigra (Black Mustard)

7/19/2017 · Monongahela National Forest, Monongahela, WV
≈ 3½ × 3" (8.6 × 7.4 cm)

Brassica nigra (Black Mustard)

7/19/2017 · Monongahela National Forest, Monongahela, WV
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Range:

About this map...