Weed Seed: Erucastrum gallicum (Dog mustard)

Family

Brassicaceae

Common Name

Dog mustard

Regulation

Secondary Noxious, Class 3 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.

Distribution

Canadian: Occurs across Canada except in NU and YT (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to southern and central Europe (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). Widely introduced and naturalized in other parts of Europe, as well as North America, the Bahamas, and Korea (Warwick and Wall 1998Footnote 3, USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). In the United States it is abundant in the midwest and sporadic but widespread elsewhere (Warwick and Wall 1998Footnote 3).

Duration of life cycle

Annual

Seed or fruit type

Seed

Identification features

Size

  • Seed length: 1.0 - 1.5 mm
  • Seed width: 0.8 - 1.0 mm

Shape

  • Seed oval to oblong with a groove between the cotyledons and the seed radicle

Surface Texture

  • Seed reticulate, with stipples inside of the cells

Colour

  • Seed reddish-brown

Other Features

  • Reticulations are the same colour as seed surface

Habitat and Crop Association

Cultivated fields, old fields, gardens and lawns, orchards, railway yards, railway lines, ballast, waste ground, roadsides and disturbed areas (FNA 1993+Footnote 4, Warwick and Wall 1998Footnote 3, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 5). Also found in open rangelands, dry grassland areas, shores, beaches, river banks and floodplains (Warwick and Wall 1998Footnote 3). Most often found in sparsely vegetated habitats. A weed of cereal and oilseed crops (Warwick and Wall 1998Footnote 3).

General Information

Dog mustard was introduced to North America in the early 1900s and spread across the continent via rail lines and contaminated grain shipments (Warwick and Wall 1998Footnote 3). Dog mustard produces an average of approximately 11,000 seeds per plant (Warwick and Wall 1998Footnote 3).

Similar species

Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia)

  • Wall-rocket seed is a similar size, oval to oblong shape, distinctive radicle and surface reticulation as dog mustard. Some wall-rocket seeds are reddish-brown like dog mustard.
  • Wall-rocket is usually greenish-brown with dark cotyledons and the surface reticulations are silvery, while dog mustard has reddish-brown reticulations.

Photos

Dog mustard (Erucastrum gallicum) seeds
Dog mustard (Erucastrum gallicum) seed
Dog mustard (Erucastrum gallicum) seed, side view
Dog mustard (Erucastrum gallicum) seed

Similar species

Similar species: Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) seeds
Similar species: Wall-rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) seed
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