Brassica nigra

Photo by Ron Vanderhoff

Synonyms: Sinapis nigra (L.)

Common names: black mustard

Brassica nigra (black mustard) is a winter annual herb/forb (family Brassicaceae). Like other mustards, black mustard grows profusely and produces allelopathic chemicals that prevent germination of native plants. The spread of black mustard can increase the frequency of fires in chaparral and coastal sage scrub, changing these habitats to annual grassland.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed RIC Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

  • Tuttle, E., K. Johnston, et al. (2011). Evaluating distribution and prevalence of non-native vegetation percent cover in a Southern California wetland and its application to inform habitat restoration and non-native vegetation control. Cal-IPC 2011 Symposium. Tahoe City, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Betts, S., R. Dahlquist, et al. (2010). Developing time/temperature inactivation models for thermal death of black mustard (Brassica nigra) seeds. Cal-IPC 2010 Symposium. Ventura, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Olesen, C., D. Doran, et al. (2009). Evaluating the seed bank of a disturbed site to determine potential ecological restoration strategies. Cal-IPC Symposium 2009. Visalia, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Codianne, J. and L. Dumont (2007). Coyote Creek floodplain reclamation project: Re-establishing native plant habitat. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2007. San Diego, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Lair, K., N. Ritter, et al. (2006). Restoration of retired San Joaquin Valley farmlands using herbicides and activated charcoal. Cal-IPC Symposium. Rohnert Park, CA.
  • Marushia, R. and J. Holt (2005). Phenology of Brassica tournefortii in comparison to B. nigra, B. geniculata, and native Mojave Desert annuals. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2005. Chico, CA.
  • Dickerson, E., C. Brigham, et al. (2004). Ecohelpers: Education and ecological restoration in Southern California. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Keeley, J. E. (2004). Fire management impacts on invasive species at the wildland/urban interface in California. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • White, V. A. and J. S. Holt (2002). Effect of competition on artichoke thistle, Cynara cardunculus. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2002. Sacramento, CA.
  • Burrascano, C. (2001). Review of the impact of invasive weeds on two endangered plant species: Acanthomintha ilicifolia (San Diego thornmint) and Monardella linoides ssp. viminea (willowly monardella). California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2001. San Diego, CA.
  • St.John, T. (1998). Nitrate immobilization and the mycorrhizal network for control of exotic ruderals. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.
  • Archbald, G. (1998). Mechanical control methods: beyond weed bashing. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.
  • Minnich, R. A. (1994). Effects of exotic plants on three California ecosystems. California Exotic Pest Plant Symposium '94. Sacramento, CA.

Other Brassica nigra Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.