Barbarea orthocerus

4 May

This is our local native mustard, and quite edible as a green if you like mustards, but I don’t. I do like the cheery yellow flowers though, and apparently if I am lucky enough to get a Sarah’s Orangetip butterfly wandering through, this is a likely suspect to host an egg followed by a caterpillar or two. I should be so lucky…

Till then I will simply enjoy the brief presence of this spring annual/ biennial. Seeds often sprout both in fall and in spring, with fall overwintered plants being much more robust and floriferous, but they both work. Bees mostly pollinate them here, though I would guess that if I had a bunch of butterflies around, they would also visit it. Seed production is pretty good for the size of the plant, so as long as you have the kind of spring moist summer dry kind of habitat it likes, full sun of course, they should come back year after year.

Do protect at least some of the seed from finches though. They can eat a plant bare in a matter of moments once they ripen enough.



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