Flixweed (Bedground-weed; Tansy-mustard)
Synonym: Sisymbrium sophia
Family: Brassicaceae (A Utah Flora – Cruciferae) – Mustard Family
Annual or infrequently winter annual; stems 6.7” to 3.3' (1.7 to 10 dm) tall or more
Leaves: basal and alternate; lower compound to simple (pinnatifid), the upper smaller and compound or simple (pinnatifid); 0.4” to 4.8” (1 to 12 cm) long
Flowers: 4 cream to yellow petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; petals 0.088” to 0.12” (2.2 to 3 mm) long; 4 yellowish deciduous sepals; 6 stamens; 1 pistil; nectar glands commonly 4' flowers in corymbs or racemes
Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (butterflies, moths, bees and flies); self-fertile
Fruits: silique - a pod with 2 compartments with a thin partition
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: disturbed areas, desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: park road
Other: The genus name, “Descurainia”, honors Francois Descourain (1658-1740), a French botanist and physician/pharmacist. The species name,”sophia”, is from the Greek word meaning “wisdom”.
This is a non-native plant from Europe.
Many plants in this family are weeds and they flower early because they are annual. Many vegetables are in this family– radish, cabbage, cauliflower. A few species of plants in this family are poisonous to livestock.
Did You Know?
Once feared of becoming extinct, desert bighorn sheep are making a tentative comeback in southeast Utah due to reintroduction efforts by the National Park Service. There are roughly 50 sheep in Arches, and animals are often sighted near the visitor center. More...