General: annual, 10-50 cm tall, with stalked glands and often sparsely stiff- to long-soft-hairy. The stem usually with several basal, often partially creeping branches.
Leaves: basal and alternate on stem, elliptic-oblong to lanceolate or oblanceolate, all but the uppermost stalked, the blade 3-8 cm long, with coarse, shallow, wavy teeth. The leaves much reduced upwards.
Flowers: several in much elongate clusters, the lower flowers from the axils of reduced leaves. Flower stalks spreading to somewhat ascending, stout, 2-4 mm long. Calyx narrowly tubular, 6-8 mm long, the 2 sepals on the sides somewhat pouched at the base. The 4 petals magenta, the narrow claw slightly exceeding the sepals, the spreading, narrowly oblong blades about 5 mm long.
Fruits: pods, 3.5-4.5 cm long, spreading and curved upward, cylindrical, with many small constrictions between the many seeds, the valves strongly 1-nerved. The upper portion of the pod sterile and forming a long, tapering, sharp beak 7-20 mm long. Style lacking. Seeds in 1 row.
Dry meadows, in many parts of MT. A weedy Eurasian plant widely established in much of the more arid part of the Pacific Northwest.
The leaves of musk mustard are edible raw. They are said to make a good early salad.
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