Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb ex Prantl

Family: Brassicaceae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)

Sisymbrium sophia L.

Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

flixweed, tansy mustard

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Fruit a multi-seed, dehiscent silique, linear-cylindric, torulose, (1)1.5–2.7(3.5) cm long x 0.5–1(1.2) mm wide.

Seed oblong in outline, partially compressed, cross-section bilobed or ovoid to triangular, one face longitudinally convex, the other face flat to transversely convex, 0.7–1.3 mm long x 0.4–0.7 mm wide x 0.3–0.5 mm thick, with a groove on each face tracing an ellipse near the hilar end of the seed outlining the bent positions of the radicle and cotyledons. Surface glabrous, reticulated in a distinct regular ladder-mesh pattern in parallel rows, shiny or oily-looking, golden to bright orangish-brown with a reddish circular marking over the cotyledons at the hilar end of the seed.

Hilum in a notch, white funiculus often present.

Embryo bent, cotyledons incumbent, endosperm lacking.

Similar Species

See Similar Species Comparison Chart and compare to seeds of Lepidium.

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)