This name was first published in Hortus Kew. Ed. 2 (see TL-2 Suppl. III: 141). R. Brown is considered to have been the author of the section on Brassicaceae, but this is not indicated in the book. Therefore, under the rules of nomenclature (Melbourne ICN Art. 46, Note 3, but see Ex. 23), authorship of the name must be cited as W.T.Aiton, who was the author of the book[
Barbarea vulgaris is highly variable in length and orientation of fruit and fruiting pedicel, style length, and the division of cauline leaves. Several varieties have been recognized, and they represent some of the many points along one continuum. In my opinion, it is better not to recognize any infraspecific taxa in North America[
Arabis barbarea Bernh.
Barbarea abortiva Hausskn.
Barbarea altaica Andrz. ex Steud.
Barbarea arcuata (Opiz ex J.Presl & C.Presl) Rchb.
Barbarea arcuata Andrz. ex DC.
Barbarea augustana Boiss.
Barbarea balcana Pančić
Barbarea barbarea MacMill.
Barbarea hirsuta Weihe
Barbarea iberica (Willd.) DC.
Barbarea kayseri Schur
Barbarea lepuznica Nyár.
Barbarea linnaei Spenn.
Barbarea lyrata Asch.
Barbarea macrophylla Halácsy
Barbarea pyrenaica Jord.
Barbarea rivularis Martrin-Donos
Barbarea rivularis Pančić
Barbarea rupestris Steud.
Barbarea sicula Gren. & Godr.
Barbarea stricta Willk.
Barbarea sylvestris Jord.
Barbarea taurica DC.
Barbarea vicina Martrin-Donos
Campe barbarea (Garsault) W.Wight
Campe rivularis (Martrin-Donos) A.Heller
Campe vulgaris (R.Br.) Dulac
Cheiranthus ibericus Willd.
Cheiranthus laevigatus Willd. ex DC.
Crucifera arcuata E.H.L.Krause
Crucifera barbaraea E.H.L.Krause
Eruca barbarea Lam.
Erysimum arcuatum Opiz ex J.Presl & C.Presl
Erysimum barbarea L.
Erysimum lucidum Salisb.
Erysimum lyratum Gilib.
Erysimum lyrifolium Stokes
Sisymbrium barbarea Garsault
Common Name: Yellow Rocket
Barbarea vulgaris is an erect, biennial (occasionally perennial) plant usually growing 20 - 90cm tall, exceptionally to 120cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is sometimes grown as a salad crop and also sometimes as an ornamental (the cultivar 'Variegata' with variegated leaves is used ornamentally). Research has also shown that, with its winter hardiness and high seed yields, it has the potential to become a new oilseed crop[
This species is widespread and abundant throughout its known range.It is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Barbarea vulgaris has spread from its original range in Eurasia to many other parts of the Globe, mainly as a result of human activity. It is reported to have become naturalized in several countries, including N. America, New Zealand and Argentina.
There is a report that ingestion of the leaves can lead to kidney malfunction[
Eurasia - Atlantic coast (not Norway and Finland), east through central Asia, China to Japan, through Turkey to n. India; N. Africa - Algeria, Tunisia
Found in a range of habitats, often in damp ground and lowland areas including riverbanks, meadows, shingle and ditches, to more disturbed habitats such as roadside verges, arable land, wasteland and docklands[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Pollinators||Flies, Bees, Beetles, Self
Succeeds in sun or shade in a moist well-drained soil[
]. The plant grows wild in a range of soils, including calcareous, sandy, alluvial and clay soils, though it avoids highly acidic sites[
]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 7.5.
The plant can continue to grow all winter, especially if the weather is mild[
A short-lived perennial[
], though plants usually self-sow freely when in a suitable position[
]. There is at least one named form, developed for its ornamental value. 'Variegata' has variegated leaves and grows less strongly than the type[
A good bee plant[
Young leaves - raw or cooked like spinach[
]. A hot cress-like flavour[
]. Young leaves are chopped up finely and added to salads, older leaves can be used as a potherb but they are rather strong and are best cooked in one or two changes of water[
]. The leaves are available all year round, even in the winter, especially if the weather is mild[
]. The leaves are a rich source of vitamin C[
]. To increase the productivity of the plants, remove the flowering stems as they appear (they can be eaten like the leaves[
]) and pick the outer leaves as the plant regrows[
Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Young flowering stems - harvested before the flowers open and cooked like broccoli[
A tea made from the leaves is appetizer, antiscorbutic and diuretic[
The leaves are vulnerary and have been used as a poultice for treating wounds[
Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks.
Division in spring. This plant is a short-lived perennial, and also usually self-sows freely, so we have not found division to be worthwhile.