Brassica tournefortii

Brassica tournefortii_Saharan mustard_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: Sahara mustard; Morrocan mustard; Asian mustard

Brassica tournefortii (Saharan mustard or African mustard) is a winter annual (family Brassicaceae) found in deserts, desert dunes, and coastal scrub, including the San Joaquin Valley, Sonoran and Mojave Deserts, and southwestern region of California. Saharan mustard readily invades newly burned areas, and is known to increase fire frequency and fuel load. Increased fire frequency can cause scrub habitats to convert to grasslands because the native shrubs are not adapted to recurrent fires. The high biomass of Saharan mustard, along with frequent fires, may deplete soils of important nutrients, making native habitat recovery more difficult.

Cal-IPC Rating: High

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

  • Murphy, M. and C. W. Barrows (2010). Effects of Sahara Mustard, Brassica tournefortii, on the biodiversity of a desert landscape. Cal-IPC 2010 Symposium. Ventura, CA, California Invasive Plant Council
  • Schneider, H. and E. Allen (2009). Evening the odds: Evaluating the combined effects of nitrogen fertilization and exotic annual removal on native annual forbs in the Colorado Desert. Cal-IPC Symposium 2009. Visalia, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Steers, R. and E. Allen (2008). The role of resource heterogeneity on native plant response to invasive plant removal. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2008. Chico, CA, California Invasive Plant Council.
  • Archbald, G. (1998). Mechanical control methods: beyond weed bashing. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.
  • Devender, T. R. V., R. S. Frlger, et al. (1997). Exotic plants in the Sonoran desert region, Arizona and Sonora. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '97. Concord, CA.
  • 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.
  • Minnich, R. A. (1994). Effects of exotic plants on three California ecosystems. California Exotic Pest Plant Symposium '94. Sacramento, CA, CA.
  • Minnich, R. A. (1995). Fire ecology of exotic grasses in the California desert. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '95. J. Lovich, J. Randall and M. Kelly. Pacific Grove, CA.
  • Minnich, R. A. (2004). California’s fading wildflower legacy. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Northam, F. E. (2001). Invasive plant species management in Arizona. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2001. San Diego, CA.
  • Sanders, A. C. (1998). Invasive exotics in California: A perspective from inland Southern California. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '98. Ontario, CA.

Other Brassica tournefortii 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.