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Sinapis arvensis - L.
Common Name Charlock, Charlock mustard, Wild mustard
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards The plant is possibly poisonous once the seedpods have formed[76].
Habitats Cultivated ground, usually on heavy calcareous soils[13, 17]. A serious weed of agriculture, especially in spring sown crops[1, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east from Norway to N. Africa, Siberia and S.W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun


Sinapis arvensis Charlock, Charlock mustard, Wild mustard

Sinapis arvensis Charlock, Charlock mustard, Wild mustard
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Sinapis arvensis is a ANNUAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from May to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Brassica arvensis. B. kaber. B. sinapis. B. sinapistrum.

 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Oil;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Oil;  Oil.

Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 4, 5, 12, 74]. Somewhat hot, the young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads, where they add a piquant flavour[9, 183]. Older leaves are used as a potherb[183]. It is best to use just the young shoots and leaves in the spring, older leaves are bitter[9]. Flowering stems - cooked[9, 74]. A pleasant, cabbage/radish flavour, they can be used as a broccoli substitute before the flowers open[183]. The stems should be lightly steamed for no more than 5 minutes[9]. The flowers can also be cooked as a vegetable or used as a garnish[183]. Seed - it can be sprouted and eaten raw[12]. A hot flavour, it can be added to salads and sandwiches[183]. The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring. It has a hot mustard flavour[4, 9, 46, 115]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[1, 57, 74].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Black depression', 'Melancholia' and 'Gloom'[209].
Other Uses
Oil;  Oil.

An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It is also used in making soap[74] and burns well so can be used for lighting[4].
Cultivation details
Usually found on heavy alkaline soils in the wild[17]. Succeeds on most soils. Dislikes shade. The plant harbours an eelworm that attacks other crops[13]. It is therefore best not to grow it in a garden setting.
Seed - germinates in spring and autumn in the wild. It should not really need much encouragement.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Subject : Sinapis arvensis  

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