Musk Mustard
Chorispora tenella (Pallas) DC.
Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard
Genus: Chorispora
Synonyms:
Other names: crossflower
Nomenclature: tenella = delicate, tender
Nativity / Invasiveness: introduced plant, weed
Edible plant
No medicinal data
Description

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. April-June.

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.


Distribution

Dry meadows, in many parts of MT. A weedy Eurasian plant widely established in much of the more arid part of the Pacific Northwest.
Edible Uses

The leaves of musk mustard are edible raw. They are said to make a good early salad.


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