Descurainia sophia

Photo: Debra L. Cook

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, particularly 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.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

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

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

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.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Descurainia sophia 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

    Descurainia sophia_flowers and fruit_SteveMatson
    Descurainia sophia (tansy mustard) flowers and fruit. Photo: Steve Matson
    Descurainia sophia_leaf and stem_SteveMatson
    Descurainia sophia (tansy mustard) leaf and stem. Photo: Steve Matson
    Descurainia sophia_seeds_JeanPawek
    Descurainia sophia (tansy mustard) seeds. Photo: Jean Pawek