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Wild Mustard

Edible Edible Spring Spring Summer Summer

A large plant can yield tens of thousands of seeds but other varieties have been chosen for use by the makers of mustard.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Wild Mustard, Charlock, Field Mustard
Scientific Name Sinapis arvensis
Season Start Mar
Season End Aug
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


The leaves look very different from the young to the mature plant and also look different where they are on the individual plant. The lower leaves have a stem, the upper leaves are joined directly to the main stem but all the leaves have hairs on them, are mainly lobed and have serrated edges.


Like all the Brassicas, Charlock has cruciforme flowers (four petals in a cross) that are yellow and grow in clusters on the ends of  the branching flower stems.


Tall and erect or can be very branched and lower, sometimes with purple colouring at the leaf and branch nodes.


Field edges, roadsides, gardens, waste ground and cultivated ground usually in sunny places.

Possible Confusion

Other Brassicas, mainly mustards and rape.
Can look a little like Ragwort, pictured, but the smell of mustard should keep you safe.


When crushed the leaves smell strongly of mustard.


Sweet mustard.




The younger leaves can be added to salads, the older leaves cooked as a green.

The flowers can be added to salads.

The seeds when dried and ground can be mixed with water or vinegar to make a good mustard or sprouted for a healthy salad..

Medicinal Uses

Mustard is good for stimulating the appetite.

Said to be good for the treatment of melancholy or depression.


4 comments for Wild Mustard

  1. EJ Han says:

    White flowered wild mustard

    Can I eat them, the leaves and the flowers? It just appeared in my garden.

  2. Michael says:

    This plant is also common in North Texas. I have found that the leaves must be cooked for a long time, like Collard Greens, or they will clean out your innards. It’s good if you want a ‘cleanse’ but not if you’ve got somewhere to go after consuming.

  3. Shiva Sankaran says:

    I have these self seeding wild mustards with yellow flowers growing willy nilly in my gardens and lawns in Auckland NZ for the last 5 years. I have them once a week at least. I steam them until cooked and saute them with butter, garlic and chili flakes. Great greens as a side dish.

  4. Peter says:

    I have found these in profusion recently, and gone a bit mad eating them. The younger leaves are lovely to nibble on, the older leaves make a lovely leafy green when wilted down. One caveat though. It’s worth looking up the possible downside of eating too much. As I found out to my cost last night, over eating (and in my case, that was eating them pretty much solidly for a week) can cause stomach irritation. I had the most horrible stomach pains and acid reflux. It won’t put me off, because it’s just too good and too common to ignore. Plus there are supposedly lots of health benefits, and plenty of nutrition. But probably a good idea to moderate your intake a little (and by “your”, I obviously mean “my”).

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