What is the plant
Sisymbrium officinale, the hedge mustard, (formerly Erysimum officinale) is a plant in the family Brassicaceae.
It is distinct from the mustard plants which belong to the genus Brassica. S. officinale is similar to other Sisymbrium, but differs in its tall, erect stems with tiny flowers and fruits that are compacted parallel to the stem instead of hanging free. S.officinale grows to 80 cm high.
The lower leaves are broad with two or three lateral lobes. The flowers are about 4 mm across and yellow. It bears fruits are long and without hairs when young but show hairs when mature and reach 18 mm long on racemes pressed close to the stems.
This plant is widely cultivated across Europe for its edible leaves and seeds. It is widely used as a condiment in Northern Europe (particularly Denmark, Norway and Germany).
The leaves have a bitter cabbage-like flavour and they are used either in salads or cooked as a leaf vegetable (in cultivar versions). The seeds have been used to make mustard pastes in Europe.
This plant is useful.
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