Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris)

Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris) Flowers

The yellow flowers of Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris) growing in an old Wisconsin field.

Other Name: Yellow Rocket

Synoms: Barbarea arcuata, Campe barbarea

Plant Family: Brassicaceae ⁄ Cruciferae – Mustard family

Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris) is a yellow spring wildflower found in fields and disturbed sites where it is often considered a weed.  Winter Cress is an introduced plant into  the United States.

The plant gets its name because the leaves usually stay green throughout the winter.  They can be dug up in the snow and eaten if you really need to, but more often it is eaten in the spring when it it less bitter.  I have yet to have a taste.  Like many members of the mustard family the flavor is said to be tangy, and have medicinal properties.

Wild bee on Winter Cress flower

Wild bee pollinating Winter Cress flower.

Yellow Rocket Flowers

Group of Winter Cress, or Yellow Rocket at the edge of a woodland.

Winter Cress Leaves

Leaves of Winter Cress (Barbarea vulgaris).

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