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


Brassica nigra is an annual plant that can grow 2-8 ft. (0.6-2.5 m) tall, branching occasionally.
The leaves are alternate up to 10 in. (25 cm) long and 3 in. (7.6 cm) across, becoming smaller as they ascend the stems. The lower leaves are pinnate and obovate. The upper surface of a lower leaf is often has scattered hairs that are stiff, short, and white.
Flowers are in clusters that are 0.5-2 ft. (0.15-0.61 m) long when fully mature. Each flower can be 0.3 in. (7.6 mm) across, consisting of 4 yellow petals. The petals are rounded toward their tips. Flowers are in bloom during the summer.
Fruit is about 0.67 in. (17 mm) long and tapering to a conical beak. The seeds are dark brown to black in color with a pungent taste.
Ecological Threat
Brassica nigra prefers disturbed areas including meadows, thickets, areas along railroads and roadsides. It is native to Eurasia.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Capparales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Subject: Brassica nigra (L.) W.D.J. Koch

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
shortpod mustard


Plants - Forbs/Herbs