Descurainia sophia

Synonyms: Arabis sophia, Sisymbrium sophia

Common names: tansy mustard, flixweed

Descurainia sophia (flixweed) is an annual or biennial (family Brassicaceae) found throughout California along roadsides, in agricultural fields, disturbed desert areas, scrub, grasslands and woodlands. It is most common in the northeastern region, particular in the Great Basin. It tends to prefer well-drained sandy or stony soils. Flowering flixweed plants can be toxic to cattle when they are eaten over a long period of time. It produces abundant seed, which can be spread by soil or water movement, and by clinging to animals, humans and vehicle tires, but its rate of spread is relatively slow except in disturbed areas. Flixweed may invade recently disturbed areas and then become less dominant as native species become re-established.

Rating: Limited

Cal-IPC Resources

  • 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.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
    • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.

    Symposium Presentations

    • None for this species.

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • None for this species.