|Ever seen drifts of yellow flowers on the side of the highway mid-spring? |
They are probably yellow rocket (picture from gobotany.newenglandwild.org)
First though, how to tell if a plant is part of the brassica family? Look at the flowers. All flowers in the brassica family (also called the 'mustard' family just to add confusion) have 4 petals and six stamens. The picture below shows how four of the stamens are tall and a two are short.
|Picture from "Botany in a Day: the patterns method of plant identification" by Thomas J Elpel|
What other plants are in the brassica family? A list of all genuses found in New England has been complied by the New England Wildflower Society. Domesticated varieties included horseradish, watercress, radish, turnip and (my favorites) arugula and mustard. If you're a gardener you might have alyssum, sweet-alyssum, wallflower or baskets-of gold in your flower garden.
|Sweet alyssum from gobotany.newenglandwild.org|
|Baskets of gold from gobotany.newenglandwild.org|
|Photo by Steve Dewey, Utah State University, www.forestryimages.org|