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Flixweed Descurainia sophia


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Alternate name: Herb-sophia

Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard view all from this family

Description Introduced. An upright-growing, hairy weed with feathery leaves; branches toward the tops of stems into small flower cluster.
Flowers: small; yellow; at tips of racemes; male and female flowers on separate plants.
Leaves: 2-4" (5-10 cm) long; alternate; bi- or tripinnately compound; very finely divided; covered in hairs.
Fruits: pod, to 3" (7.5 cm) long, containing up to 20 seeds.
Height: to 30" (75 cm).

Warning All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested; can cause blindness and other injuries in livestock.

Flower May-July.

Habitat Open, disturbed habitats, including roadsides, fallow fields, and waste sites.

Range Native of northern Africa, Asia, and Europe; introduced in North America, probably in the early 1800s, and widely naturalized in the United States and Canada; reported in every state except Alabama and Florida.

Discussion Flixweed was probably accidentally introduced to North America as a contaminant in agricultural seed. It spreads by seeds, and is widely considered an invasive or noxious plant pest.