Other common names
Purple mustard, tenella mustard, bead-podded mustard, musk mustard.
A leafy, branching plant growing up to 1 1/2 feet tall, blue mustard sprouts in the fall, growing a ground-hugging rosette form. It matures early in the spring, often before homeowners are aware it is present. Blue mustard is characterized by a strong, unpleasant odor. It is commonly found growing in groups rather than as single plants.
Alternately attached leaves are somewhat spearshaped to oval, somewhat toothed, and are covered with tiny. sticky hairs.
Branch mostly from the base; sticky to the touch.
Small, purplish flowers are about 1/2-inch across, with four petals in a cross shape. Blooms during the early spring. Seeds are produced in long narrow pods.
Grows a shallow taproot.
Where it grows
Roadsides, vacant lots and dry, disturbed sites
Winter annual (sprouts in fall and flowers in spring)
Reproduces by seed; seed can be produced within 10 days of flowering.
As with all annuals, preventing seed production is essential. Control before seeds are produced in the early spring.