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Yellow Wildflowers of May, part 1.

May 16, 2011

Winter Cress

Back in April,  this interesting plant started blooming in fields and along roadsides, joining in with the thriving dandelions.  Its leaves and stem are dark green,  while its small 4-petaled flowers are a bright yellow, growing in clusters.   Now, in May, it seems that its numbers have peaked.

This is Winter Cress, also known as Yellowrocket, a member of the Mustard family (flowers get called all kinds of names over the years, it can be hard to figure them all out at times).  It will continue blooming into early summer.  The Mustard family has many varieties of plants, including familiar edible ones like turnip, cabbage, and cauliflower.

Winter Cress was originally brought here from the Old World.  One of its older names is Scurvy Cress, recalling its use as a source of vitamin C to prevent deficiency disease.  In Europe, it was used as an ingredient in a herbal remedy for wounds.  It has been used in salads, though it can absorb toxins from the local environment so it’s not recommended to try this.

This plant is seen by some as a pesky weed, but even so, it certainly is a handsome one.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2011 7:05 pm

    Love your blog! It feels so familiar to me, having grown up inPA 🙂 I’ve always wondered what this flower is, glad to finally know!

  2. April 26, 2016 9:58 am

    Hi, Do you know if this yellow beauty (Winter Cress) has any medicinal purposes or if it is edible?

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