Oct. 13, 2020

black mustard, Brassica nigra

Black mustard is a winter annual. It germinates in the late autumn or winter. That gives it an early and vigorous start to the next year. It makes full use of that year, blooming from May until frost. Which all explains how it ends up here, in an image taken last Friday. Black mustard has been the traditional source of mustard spice for at least two millennia. Now we think we have a better idea? It is being replaced by brown mustard because those seeds are easier to harvest mechanically. So this time if you think mustard just isn't quite the same as it used to be, you might be right! Black mustard has spread from cultivation to every state except AK, AR, GA, SC, and WY, and every province except NT, NU, and YT. Lenawee Co MI, 10/9/20. Mustard family, Brassicaceae.