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Mustard Family (Brassicaceae)


A few species of the mustard family are considered important weeds. Agricultural weeds include various species of mustards in the genus Brassica, some of which are naturalized varieties of cultivated species. A few species are invasive into natural habitats, for example, the marsh cress (Rorippa amphibia), garlic-mustard (Alliaria petiolata), and dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis). A few species are minor, aesthetic weeds of lawns and paths, for example, shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) and whitlow-grass (Draba verna).



Hvass, E. Plants That Serve and Feed Us. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1975.

Judd, Walter S., Christopher Campbell, Elizabeth A. Kellogg, Michael J. Donoghue, and Peter Stevens. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach. 2nd ed. with CD-ROM. Suderland, MD: Sinauer, 2002.

Klein, R.M. The Green World: An Introduction to Plants and People. New York: Harper and Row, 1987.

Bill Freedman


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—In systematics, this refers to some identifiable, genetically based group within a species. Varieties do not receive taxonomic rank as subspecies, and they are often bred by humans for use in agriculture. The latter may be called cultivated varieties, or cultivars.


—Any plant that is growing abundantly in a place where humans do not want it to be.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Molecular distillation to My station and its duties:Mustard Family (Brassicaceae) - The Many Varieties Of The Cabbage, Other Edible Species, Weeds