Barbarea vulgaris W.T. Aiton
bitter winter cress (common winter cress; garden yellowrocket; yellow rocket)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #2049)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Barbarea vulgaris
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Biennial from a taproot and a simple stem-base; stems 20-80 cm tall, coarse, erect, angled and branched.
Basal leaves pinnately lobed, long-stalked, less than 12 cm long, with 1-2 pairs of lateral lobes, terminal lobe largest, egg-shaped and entire or irregularly toothed; stalks and leaflets glabrous; lowermost stem leaves with 1-2 pairs of lateral lobes, upper generally lobed, not pinnately cleft.
In single and terminal racemes or more often in compound, reduced racemes in lower leaf axils; flower stalks slender, less than 1 mm wide, 3-5 mm long; petals bright yellow, spoon-shaped to oblanceolate, 6-8 mm long; sepals pale yellow-green, about 2 mm long.
Erect to ascending siliques, 1-3 cm long, straight; styles 2-3 mm long, distinctly beaklike; seeds 1-1.5 mm long, oblong.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Barbarea vulgaris

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1102 305 1900
Slope Gradient (%)
12 0 25

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

327 328 328
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CWH(1), ESSF(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist to wet roadsides, fields and disturbed areas in the steppe and montane zones; frequent in S BC, rare northward; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Barbarea arcuata (Opiz ex J. Presl & C. Presl) Rchb.
Barbarea stricta auct. non Andrz.
Barbarea vulgaris var. arcuata (Opiz ex J. Presl & C. Presl) Fr.
Barbarea vulgaris var. brachycarpa Rouy & Foucaud
Barbarea vulgaris var. longisiliquosa Carion
Barbarea vulgaris var. sylvestris Fr.
Campe barbarea (L.) W. Wight ex Piper
Campe stricta auct. non (Andrz.) W. Wight ex Piper