Brassica sinapistrum Boiss.
Annual, 20-60 cm tall, erect, branched, usually hispid with spreading simple hairs. Lower leaves usually lyrate-pinnate, stalked, 1-3-jugate, up to 20 cm long, ± hispid; terminal lobe large, ovate, coarsely toothed; upper leaves oblong¬obovate or lanceolate, acute, dentate. Racemes 20-40 (-60)-flowered, corymbose, up to 30 cm long in fruit. Flowers c. 10 mm across, yellow; pedicel 3-5 mm long, hardly increasing but thickened in fruit, ± spreading or ascending. Sepals 4-6 (-7) mm long, 1-1.5 (-2) mm broad, yellowish, subspreading, usually glabrous. Petals 7-12 mm long, 3.5-5 mm broad, obovate, clawed. Stamens 4-5 : 6-7 mm long. Siliquae 25-45 mm long, 2.5-4 mm broad (including beak about 1/3 of the entire length of fruit, and 1-2-seeded), subcylindrical, torulose spreading, often glabrous ; valves 3-5-parallel veined; septum submembranous; seeds 3-7 in each locule (rarely more), c. 1.5 mm in diam., brown to almost black, finely alveolate.
Fl. Per.: April-June.
Type: Described from Europe, Herb. Linn. no. 845/2 (LINN).
Distribution: Europe, N. Africa, S.W. Asia; widely introduced elsewhere. Centre of origin: Mediterranean region.
‘Charlock or wild mustard’ is often found as weed near cultivation, especially in the North and Western areas of W. Pakistan. It is a very variable species and do not cross with any Brassica species. Its green leaves and fruits are edible; fatty oil, obtained from seeds, is used in soap making and also used for food after hydrogenation.