Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Early Winter-cress - Barbarea verna   (Miller) Ascherson
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Section 6 » Order Capparales » Family Brassicaceae
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Author(Miller) Ascherson
DistributionThroughout the state; probably in every county.

Native of Eurasia and Africa; in N.A. Newf. to MI and IL, south to GA and AR; also scattered in the West.
AbundanceGenerally common, except scarce in the Sandhills proper and rare on the Outer Banks (Nags Head Woods in Dare County).
HabitatFields, meadows, cropfields, roadsides, pastures, farmyards, garden weed, yard weed, etc.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting March-June.
IdentificationThis is one of two familiar bright yellow-flowered mustards of the spring season in weedy places. Winter-cress is a biennial from a basal rosette of pinnately dissected leaves, the lobes oblong or ovate. The stems grow 1-2.5 feet tall, with sessile or clasping leaves that are irregularly cut. The flowers are bright yellow, terminal and from leaf axils. The slender pods stand erect or are strongly ascending. The very similar B. vulgaris differs in having only 1-4 pairs of lateral lobes on the basal leaves versus 4-10 pairs of such lateral lobes on B. verna.
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State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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