Brassica nigra

Photo: 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?

CDFA Rating: None?


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 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

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Brassica nigra Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Brassica nigra_flowers_Ron Vanderhoff_cropped
    Brassica nigra (black mustard) flowers. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Brassica nigra_Black Mustard_plants_JM DiTomaso
    Brassica nigra (black mustard) growth habit. Photo: Joseph DiTomaso
    Brassica nigra (black mustard) leaves. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Brassica nigra (black mustard) infestation (summer). Photo: Ron Vanderhoff