Weed Seed: Sisymbrium loeselii (Tall hedge mustard)



Common Name

Tall hedge mustard


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


Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, MB, NB, NT, ON, QC, SK (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Native to eastern Europe and temperate Asia and introduced in North America, western and northern Europe and Japan (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2). In the United States, found in many states except for some in the south (USDA-NRCS 2016Footnote 3).

Duration of life cycle

Annual or Winter annual

Seed or fruit type


Identification features


  • Seed length: 0.8 - 1.3 mm
  • Seed width: 0.5 - 0.8 mm
  • Seed thickness: 0.5 mm


  • Oblong-shaped seed, with rounded or truncate ends

Surface Texture

  • Seed glossy, slightly wrinkled


  • Seed yellowish; dark orange at the hilum end

Other Features

  • Radicle often extends past end of seed
  • Distinct furrow can be seen between radicle and cotyledons

Habitat and Crop Association

Cultivated fields, old fields, field margins, pastures, stream banks, vacant lots, roadsides, railway lines and disturbed areas (Frankton and Mulligan 1993Footnote 4, FNA 1993+Footnote 5, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 6).

General Information

Tall hedge mustard's ability to produce chemicals capable of inhibiting germination and growth of nearby plants gives it a competitive edge in rangelands (Bainard et al. 2009Footnote 7).

Similar species

Tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum)

  • Tumble mustard seeds are similar in size, oblong shape, wrinkled surface and the distinct furrow between the radicle and the cotyledons.
  • Tumble mustard seeds have a rough rather than a glossy surface. The radicle is at level with the end of the seed, and they are a reddish-brown colour when compared to tall hedge mustard.


Tall hedge mustard (Sisymbrium loeselii) seeds
Tall hedge mustard (Sisymbrium loeselii) seed

Similar species

Similar species: Tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum) seeds
Similar species: Tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum) seed
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