Yellow rocket

Barbarea vulgaris R. Br.

Life cycle

Erect winter annual or biennial.


Seedlings have round to egg-shaped cotyledons on long stalks with smooth, shiny, dark green leaves that initially develop from a basal rosette. Lower leaves are 2 to 8 inches long with a large, rounded terminal lobe and up to four oppositely arranged smaller lobes along the stalk. Upper leaves are alternate, more coarsely toothed than lobed, and they often distinctly clasp the stem, gradually becoming smaller toward the top.

yellow rocket seedling yellow rocket lower leaf yellow rocket rosette
Yellow rocket seedling (left), lower leaf (middle), and rosette (right).


Erect, hairless and up to 3 feet tall. Stems bolt from a basal rosette to flower and are highly branched at the top.

Flowers and fruit

Bright yellow flowers with four petals are found in terminal clusters. Fruit are slender, slightly curved, approximately 1-inch-long capsules with a slender beak at the tip; fruit are nearly square in cross-section.

yellow rocket flower
Yellow rocket flowers.



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